By Carolyn Torres-Mabe. Are you considering divorce? If you are, there are several issues to keep in mind. Here’s a list to consider:
- Have you considered alternatives? Could marriage counseling work? Or a trial separation? Once the topic of divorce is brought up, it can be hard to turn back. So, be sure this is the right option.
- Do your research. What does your financial picture look like? What is the value of the house? What is the value of the bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts? What is the balance of the mortgage and the credit card debt? Whose name is on the assets and debts? Identify the assets and debts, the associated value/balance, and whose name is on each.
- Think about your monthly expenses. What will your monthly bills be once you’re divorced? A two income household looks different financially than a one income household. Figure out what you will need on a monthly basis and will your income support your new household?
- If you have children, how do you envision the custody and parenting time schedule? Will you have primary custody? Will you have equal parenting time? Who will make decisions for your children? Give thought to child support. Child support is a based on a formula including both parents’ incomes. How will other expenses for the children be divided – such as extracurricular expenses and uncovered medical costs?
- Be prepared. Divorce is not easy even if you are ready to be divorced. Be kind to yourself. Know that you may experience feelings that you never thought were possible. Be patient.
The legal process of divorce may be a lengthy one depending on how many issues are in dispute. The more you two agree on, the faster and less expensive the divorce is likely to be.
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