Marital relationships may take years to completely unravel. Spouses often make the final break after many unsuccessful attempts to salvage their marriage. Yet most people are surprisingly unprepared when the inevitable separation occurs. The decisions that you make during the divorce process can have serious and long-term consequences. Therefore, it is crucial that you make rational and informed decisions. The following are five tips to help you survive the emotional, financial, and legal realities of divorce:
Retain an experienced and competent family law attorney. Without proper legal representation, you may find yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to navigating the legal system and making informed decisions. A knowledgeable attorney can explain your legal rights and responsibilities and offer guidance and advocacy that will benefit you in settlement negotiations and court proceedings.
Identify your goals. For example, if it is important to you to remain in the marital home, talk to your attorney about whether it is realistic for you to have the home distributed to you as part of the property settlement. Can you afford the mortgage? Are there enough marital assets to equalize the distribution of assets, or can you afford to “buy out” your spouse’s interest? Make sure your goals and expectations are realistic.
Avoid making important decisions that are premised on emotion or principle. Both get in the way of problem-solving. Emotion has a way of clouding one’s judgment and taking a position based on “principle” will usually cost you a great deal of monetary principal.
Separate the emotional and legal realities of your divorce. It may seem difficult to think logically and make balanced decisions when you feel like your life is spiraling out of control. Your lawyer is there to help with your legal issues. If you are struggling emotionally, seek help from a licensed professional therapist. If a licensed therapist seems cost prohibitive, consider talking to a spiritual advisor or joining a support group.
Know your finances! Aside from child custody, financial concerns should be the focus of your attention. You should have knowledge and a clear understanding of the incomes, expenses, assets, and debts of both you and your spouse. Without this information, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to make informed decisions about important financial matters.
The family law attorneys at Gum, Hillier and McCroskey, P. A. understand the devastating and life altering impact that divorce can have on your life. If you are considering separating from your spouse, or you have already separated and are in need of legal representation, call us today to see how we can put our skills and experience to work for you.
This article is for information purposes only and is not to be considered or substituted as legal advice. The information in this article is based on North Carolina state laws in effect at the time of posting.