Ending a marriage is an emotionally charged event. Feelings of anger, guilt, grief, and sadness are often unleashed. Even the most prepared people can be caught off guard by the emotional responses they experience. Decisions made during the divorce process have serious long term consequences. It is extremely helpful to have an experienced and emotionally detached advocate on your side to help you make decisions unaffected by the drama that divorce often brings.
Ensuring that your actions are rational and informed will smooth the raw edges of your private emotional dilemma and will offer your spouse the opportunity to respond in kind. You can be prepared during the divorce process and minimize the element of surprise. These five tips can help you survive the most important aspects of divorce:
Consult with an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can offer individualized advice unique to your divorce and provide you with viable options to ensure that actions you take will not harm your case in the future. A knowledgeable attorney is able to help you identify your goals through divorce so that you are able to make important decisions in an informed manner that help you reach those goals. Navigating the legal system is tough enough. Navigating the system with a clear image of where you want to be when the process is complete can make the process less daunting.
Engage the services of a therapist. Whether you seek counseling with your spouse to explore possibilities for mending your marriage or, following your marital split, counseling for you and your children, therapy can be of great benefit. Divorce is a major life event and therapy through the process can be an invaluable tool. Anger, guilt, grief, and sadness can cloud judgment and impact your ability to make logical decisions. Emotionally based decisions and actions can be very harmful to standing during a divorce. Although family law attorneys are vastly experienced with the emotional aspects of divorce, your attorney is only able to assist you with the legal aspects of your divorce. A therapist can help you separate your emotions from the legalities involved and provide additional tools for realizing your post-divorce goals.
Research and obtain necessary information about your finances. Apart from issues surrounding your children, financial matters are the main focus of nearly every divorce. Whether you are a supporting or dependent spouse, it is imperative that you have a comprehensive knowledge of the financial aspects of marriage. Acquiring all of the important documentation surrounding income, expenses, assets, and debts for both you and your spouse, as well as joint and separate financial statements, tax returns, family business valuations, and investments can be incredibly overwhelming. However, the effort will provide a clear understanding of your financial picture upon which informed decisions and lasting solutions can be made.
Establish a separate identity. It is not uncommon to be intertwined with your spouse in all ways, including shared financial accounts, credit cards, insurance policies, automobiles, mailboxes, and e-mails. Establish your own identity in the ways you can before you separate from your spouse. This will help limit ways in which your spouse may be able to interfere with or control you through shared resources. Open your own post office box, create a secure e-mail account, change your passwords, update your contact information and mailing address for important financial documents, and open your own bank and credit card accounts. If you have access to joint savings accounts or other marital funds, consult with an attorney before withdrawing or transferring these to your separate account.
Safeguard assets and avoid reckless behavior. Take possession of the items you will require the use of during the divorce process, as well as those items you desire to retain in a division of property. Speak with an experienced family law attorney before you leave the marital home, and if your spouse has left the home, talk to an attorney before changing the locks. If you are concerned that your spouse may engage in reckless behavior, hide assets, or sell assets, a lawyer can help you take the right steps to protect against loss.
If you have decided to divorce or are already involved in the divorce process, you do not have to be surprised by the hurdles you may face. The family law attorneys at Tharrington Smith are dedicated to assisting you through the realities of divorce. We can help you make informed decisions and be proactive for your future. Call us today for a consultation. We have decades of experience to guide you through all of the complexities of the divorce process.
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.