Planning For Divorce Can Help You Avoid Pitfalls
Considering the very personal and emotional nature of divorce, the idea of “planning for divorce” can strike some people the wrong way. Shouldn’t you be trying to save your marriage instead? In fact, planning for divorce acknowledges the financial and business aspect of the legal bonds of a marriage that is unraveling. It is not cold-hearted but rather, a healthy step forward to begin creating your divorce strategy well in advance.
At Heather L. George Myers, Attorney at Law, in Greenwood, Indiana, you will find the advice and assistance you need to protect your best interests.
Important Things To Consider When Divorce Is On The Horizon
- Will you need financial support from your spouse to meet month-to-month expenses while your divorce is in progress? Don’t be caught without funds to pay utilities and other essentials. Start now to make a list of household expenses. Gather as much information as you can about your husband’s or wife’s income — and yours. Figure out realistically what level of support you will need before you file for divorce and make the adjustments necessary to be self-supporting afterward. Prepare now to petition the family law court to order your spouse to pay temporary spousal support.
- How do you envision life after the divorce in terms of where you live, how your children’s time may be divided between two parents’ homes, and how you will get back on solid footing — financially, socially, and emotionally? Get personal counseling if you need it. Start plotting out a step-by-step strategy for re-establishing your household as a single person. Start documenting your parenting activities to position yourself for the most desirable outcome in terms of child custody and support.
- Are you tempted to start dating already? This is not uncommon for people going through major life changes — but it can be very harmful to your divorce and custody cases. As you navigate your new social life during a time of separation and divorce preparations, consult with an attorney about specific things to avoid such as moving in with your new love interest without understanding how it will affect your overall financial big picture.
- Consider what will happen to all your household possessions. As your marriage is unraveling, you may feel disinterested in “stuff” and want to just forget about it all. In fact, the total dollar value of the marital estate can have a great impact on your final divorce settlement. For your own good, take stock of everything you own together or separately. Videotape items, room to room, drawer by drawer, cabinet by cabinet, in the garage and everywhere you and your spouse have inhabited together. What if he or she asks why you are taking pictures around the house? Preparing to update your homeowners insurance in case of a fire is a reasonable response.
- Prevent liability due to your spouse’s careless financial dealings. Watch account balances often and take computer screen shots to verify what was in each account by date. Put a freeze on credit cards that you share, if applicable. Stop your spouse from raiding 401(k) accounts by obtaining a protective order. If it is appropriate in your case, file for divorce sooner rather than later.
With so many challenges and questions in the air, you should not go it alone as you contemplate divorce and other legal issues affecting your family. An initial consultation with a knowledgeable attorney can pay for itself many times over once you realize divorce is likely.
Arm Yourself With Knowledge And A Plan Of Action
Replace fear with resolution as divorce approaches. Discuss your unique situation with an experienced, caring lawyer’s help. Contact Heather L. George Myers, Attorney at Law, in Greenwood, by calling 317-643-5496 or completing our online intake form.