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What To Know About Divorce Before You File

What to know about divorce before filingBefore deciding to file for divorce, it’s best to know what you’re getting yourself in to. Couples often do not have a clear understanding of the filing procedures, the costs, and the possible outcomes. What’s so unpredictable about divorce is that it can be either one of the most challenging things you’ll ever endure or an easy experience that improves your life.

It really depends on the relationship. Regardless of the parties involved, however, knowledge is power. Having it can be the difference between a positive and a negative outcome. Here are some must-have basics you need to internalize before you file.

Divorce Firsts

Divorce is defined as the legal process for terminating a marriage contract. When you decide to go through with it, there will be a series of “firsts” that can be rather difficult no matter what your current relationship to your spouse is: your first time stumbling across photographs from happier times; your first time you frequent a place that was special to you both without having them along; your first time leaving your children in the spouse’s custody while said children are too young to understand why Mommy and Daddy can’t be together. You’ll need to prepare for the adjustment by understanding that it gets easier.

Divorce, Debts, And Assets

During your time together, you will accumulate community property. You will intermingle assets. You will incur debt. You will have separate property appreciate in value, thus becoming, in part, community property itself. The financial aspects of even an uncontested, do-it-yourself divorce can be difficult to work through. When attorneys and conflict are present, it becomes even more challenging.

Still, it’s unavoidable.

Even when you and your spouse can’t stand to be in the same room together, you have to figure out a way to work to an agreeable solution for how assets and debts are divided. In the US, debts often fall to one party (three out of four times) while asset division is nearly equal. How the split occurs depends on a number of factors, such as spousal responsibility, established way of life, and earning potentials.

Custody Arrangements

In about 52 percent of cases throughout the US, one or more children are involved in a divorce. This creates much of the conflict and prevents many cases that could otherwise end in a simple DIY divorce. Spouses can’t seem to agree on who should have the kids, and how often they should have them. What’s worse, kids can sense this conflict, and it wears on them to see Mom and Dad fight. If you and your spouse can’t agree, then it’s best to try mediation or “lawyer-up” and argue your case in court with the aid of an attorney. Either way, communicate two things to the child: 1) It’s not their fault; and 2) Divorcing your spouse in no way means that either of you love the child any less.

Other than these factors, couples also need to know that each state has different requirements and filing procedures. Fortunately, they’re pretty similar, but you’ll still need to check your state’s laws or allow us to handle it for you.

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