Divorcing a Spouse: Here Are Some Key Facts Worth Considering

Divorcing a Spouse

Marriage is a lifelong commitment. However, there are instances wherein it doesn’t work, and the couple decides to part ways. Getting a divorce is the best option in this case. This article highlights some critical facts worth considering if you consider divorcing your spouse.

Practical Considerations

Before getting a divorce, you should think about several practical considerations. If you ask yourself, “does it matter who files for divorce first?” you may be surprised to find that the answer is that it doesn’t count. However, there are potential benefits if you do. In this case, the petitioner is the person who files for the divorce, thereby starting the legal process. While the law does not grant any special privileges to the spouse who files for divorce first, you will have control over the tone and timing of the divorce process. As the filing spouse, you can file for an uncontested, agreeable divorce, simplifying the process. You will also have the choice of county court location where you would like to file the divorce, which can be significantly beneficial if you and your spouse reside in different areas.

Following this, gather and organize important documents such as marriage certificates, financial statements, tax returns, property deeds, and pre- or postnuptial agreements. Ensure all necessary legal documents related to the divorce are correctly filed on time. Rest assured that your attorney can assist with this process. In parallel, you should determine a temporary setup for living arrangements if one spouse needs to move out during the divorce proceedings. But, plan for long-term living arrangements, including potential relocation if required. Eventually, maintain open and respectful communication with your spouse, especially if you have children. This can reduce conflict and facilitate a smoother divorce process. Set clear boundaries regarding communication and interactions to help manage emotional stress.

Legal Factors

Another primary consideration is the legal factors you have to be aware of. This means that you need to know the different divorce types to understand the nuances of each. For instance, in a contested divorce, the spouses disagree on critical issues, leading to a potentially lengthy court process. In contrast, in an uncontested divorce, the ex-spouses agree on all terms, which is quicker and less expensive. Some states also allow for fault-based divorces, where one spouse’s misconduct, such as adultery and abuse, is cited as the reason. However, most states offer no-fault divorces, where the reason is often cited as irreconcilable differences or an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Other legal considerations include residency requirements and hiring a lawyer. In terms of the former, each state has residency requirements for divorce filing. Typically, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for a certain period, ranging from a few months to a year. When hiring a lawyer, you should engage an experienced divorce legal advocate who can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and ensure fair outcomes. Nevertheless, you can always consider mediation or collaborative divorce as alternatives to traditional litigation. These methods can be less adversarial while being more cost-effective.

Financial Concerns

  • Asset Division

It would help if you also considered the financial concerns brought about by the divorce process. This is because the assets you and your spouse garnered must be divided accordingly. However, states follow different rules for dividing marital property. Equitable distribution states divide assets fairly but not necessarily equally, while community property states split marital assets 50/50. But keep in mind that only marital property is subject to division. Separate property, such as the assets owned before the marriage or those received as gifts and inheritances, typically remains with the original owner.

  • Spousal Support

Regarding spousal support or alimony, it can be temporary, rehabilitative, or permanent, depending on the length of the marriage and the financial circumstances of both spouses. Temporary alimony is provided during the divorce process to help a lower-earning spouse maintain their standard of living until the final settlement is reached, while rehabilitative alimony is intended to support a spouse as they gain the education or training necessary to become self-sufficient. Permanent alimony is granted when a spouse cannot become self-sufficient due to age, illness, or other factors. In this case, courts consider various factors such as the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, the age and health of both spouses, and their earning capacities.

  • Child Custody

Subsequently, there may also be child custody concerns wherein courts decide guardianship based on the child’s best interests, considering factors like age, health, emotional ties to each parent, and the parent’s ability to provide for the child. In parallel, child support is calculated based on state guidelines, which consider both parents’ income, the child’s needs, and the custodial arrangement.

Personal and Emotional Aspects

Finally, consider the divorce process’s personal and emotional aspects. Divorce can be emotionally draining, so it is best to seek counseling or join support groups to help manage stress and emotional turmoil. During this trying time, prioritize self-care by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercising, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

If you have children, consider the impact of getting a divorce on your kids. In this case, you and your ex must develop a co-parenting plan that minimizes disruption to your children’s lives. Aim for open communication and cooperation with your ex-spouse for the children’s sake. In parallel, provide emotional support to your children and consider professional counseling if they struggle with the transition.

Most importantly, reevaluate your financial situation post-divorce. This means creating a new budget, updating your estate plan, and adjusting financial goals to reflect your new circumstances. Focus on rebuilding your life by setting new personal and professional goals, exploring new interests, and seeking new social connections.

IMAGE SOURCE: https://pixabay.com/photos/divorce-separation-marriage-breakup-619195/

Before you push through with a divorce, ensure that you consider the practical implications of the process. Aside from this, it would help to consider legal factors and financial concerns that need to be settled. More importantly, you should also take a look at the personal and emotional aspects of divorce, ensuring that you have a solid support system you can rely on to overcome this challenging period of your life.