The best way for anybody to deal with a divorce is to take charge of it. Those who don't take the time to ready themselves for the proceedings often find themselves falling victim to them in surprising ways. You need to take the right steps and make the right moves. Don't let your divorce take control of you.
1. Understand What's Going On With Finances
Whether it's your finances or your spouse's, you need to take stock of every financial asset that can possibly come up in the proceedings. You need to document the value and location of everything that can become a part of a divorce settlement.
If you're in good standing with your spouse, attempt to work on this list together. If you and your spouse cannot stay in the same room together for any length of time, you should still try your best to create a full list of assets. You can also attempt to have your spouse contribute through their lawyer or yours.
You can include things like:
- Bank accounts
- Any items of a significant dollar amount
- Collectibles and collections
- Pensions and retirement plans
If you don't take charge of defining the assets, it can become an issue later on. If the judge has to divide the assets for you, it might not work in the favor of you or your spouse. Alternatively, if your spouse works out the assets and you don't, then he or she will have an advantage in the proceedings.
In addition to your financial assets, you should definitely pay close attention when you're filing your taxes. This is of extreme importance if you've previously filed jointly, or if there are children involved.
In both these cases, you will definitely have to work with your spouse or through your attorney to figure out how to best go about the process. However, remember this is a lesson in proactivity, so bring this subject up early.
2. See to Your Independence
You may expect child support or alimony. Conversely, you may suspect you will have to pay these things. In either case, you should start structuring your life and future endeavors around whichever possibility seems likely.
If you think you will have to pay child support or alimony, then you should create a post-divorce budget plan. Learn the maximum amount that can come from your earnings to pay both these things.
Keep in mind that child support and alimony are separate things with separate rules. Also, alimony is tax deductible. Budget with the maximums in mind.
If you plan to receive alimony or child support, then you should create a post-divorce plan that doesn't include these payments. You want independence. You don't want to find yourself having a hardship because a payment was missed or delayed.
3. Stay Vigilant and Monitor Your Own Actions
Divorce proceedings can become vicious. It's great if the process can start and finish without a hitch, but that's not always possible. While you're proactively doing all the things you need to do to come out of the divorce strong, you also need to watch what you say and do while the divorce is taking place.
Sometimes one party must prove a fault, and one of the best ways to do it is to have documented conversation or activities. For example, consider if your spouse says you have a drinking problem, and you say you don't.
You do go out one night and become quite inebriated. You call a mutual friend and give a drunken tirade against your spouse. If that mutual friend records it, then it becomes proof of your spouse's claim.
The same goes for posting things on social media. You don't have to become a recluse. You just have to watch what you say and do.
That's How You Take Charge
You see to your finances, plan for the future, and watch what you do. In this way, you can take charge of your divorce. Of course, you also need the help of a divorce lawyer, like Dianna Harris, Attorney. Asking for professional help early on is one the ultimate steps that shows that you're taking the divorce seriously.