How to Go Through a Divorce

No matter what the circumstances, a divorce is a big change. It fundamentally changes the family structure and often the day to day life of the soon to be ex-spouses and their children. The emotional consequences and financial costs of a divorce can be high but it is important, that no matter what you are feeling and no matter what your financial situation, that you follow the steps outlined below in order to ensure that your needs are met now and in the future.
If you are getting a divorce then you should consider:
  • Keeping Things Amicable, If Possible: This may be easier said than done depending on the reasons for your impending divorce. However, it is important to keep in mind your goal of dissolving your marriage and not to seek revenge during the divorce proceedings. It may be easier to convince your ex-spouse and a judge to see things your way if you are amicable and not angry.
  • Protecting Your Financial Accounts: You and your spouse may have joint bank accounts. Joint bank accounts can be held by any two people, not just spouses, so your separation or impending divorce will not impact either person’s ability to withdraw money from the joint accounts absent a court order. Since anyone who is named on a joint account can withdraw money in any amount, it is important that you keep a close eye on your bank accounts and consider, with your attorney, how you should act to protect your share of the available funds.
  • Keeping Comprehensive Records: Family law judges generally like documentation. The types of records that you need may depend on your goal in the proceedings. For example, if one of your goals is to keep primary custody of your children then you might keep a log of how much time your soon to be ex-spouse spends with your children. If, one of your goals is to collect alimony then you might want to have specific records about your income and expenses so that you can make a well reasoned argument to the judge about your need for alimony.
  • Getting Sound Legal Advice: Divorce is common in the United States but it is important to remember that it is still a legal proceeding that dissolves a marriage and it, therefore, has lasting implications. It is important for every divorcee to get legal advice either from trusted sources or a family law attorney, even if the divorce seems simple and amicable.  

Despite what is often advertised online, there is no magic formula or manual that will guarantee a painless divorce for everyone. There are, however, specific steps, as described above, that can help most people through a difficult time in their lives. It is important to remember that the decisions made during your divorce are often long lasting and will greatly impact your future. Therefore, it is important to take the time to carefully consider your actions and make the decisions that are best for you and your family.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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