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Thinking About Divorce?

According to an analysis of over 10,000 Facebook status updates, a peak break-up time each year is the two weeks leading up to Christmas.

If you find yourself contemplating divorce, you are probably engaged in a complicated emotional process. Even if you’re not sure you’re ready for a divorce, it might be helpful to speak with a lawyer about the practical implications of divorce. Having the facts about what could lie ahead can help you make clear decisions now.

Some things you could discuss with a lawyer now even if you’re not sure you’re ready for a divorce.

Temporary Financial Arrangements

If you decide to divorce, you need to establish two separate households. Who would move out and how would it be paid? Would someone pay spousal support (maintenance) or child support? How much? A lawyer can offer suggestions for handling the practical details of the separation. He or she may also be able to provide a ballpark figure for support as well.

Dividing Your Assets & Debts

You and your spouse can make almost any agreement you wish about dividing your assets and debts. A court will usually divide them about half and a half. Your lawyer can help you decide which assets and debts need to be divided and which don’t, whether there are any advantages to filing sooner rather than later, and how to maximize your fair share of the marital assets.

Your Children

Depending on the ages of your children and your family dynamics, it might be best to establish separate households immediately, or it could be better to wait until spring break or summer. Either way, you don’t need to wait to file your divorce papers. Many couples are actually well on their way to completing their divorces when they physically separate.

What should you do to prepare?

  • Think about what a timeshare arrangement would be best for your kids. Is 50/50 best for them or should the kids have a primary residence? A common 50/50 schedule is called a “2-2-5-5” (Monday and Tuesday with one parent, Wednesday and Thursday with the other parent, and alternating weekends). With a primary residence arrangement, the non-primary parent often has the kids one night each week plus every other weekend.
  • Get your financial information organized. Within six weeks of filing for divorce, the parties are required to exchange comprehensive financial information with each other. You will need to be prepared to provide tax returns, bank statements, retirement and mortgage account information, and so forth. It can be a time-consuming project that sometimes catches people off-guard. It’s ideal to file for divorce when you know you will have time to work on your financial disclosures.

Posted January 25, 2015
by: MFL Team

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