While the question, “What is divorce?” can be somewhat philosophical, the fact of the matter is it has immense real-world implications. The short version of the answer is your marriage is ending. And regardless of how long it lasted, you’re about to embark on a bumpy emotional ride.
So, what can you do to keep perspective? What should you bear in mind as proceedings progress? And how do you keep from losing the shirt off your back?
Here are a few tips from the divorce attorneys here at Reeder, garnered from decades of first-hand experience:
Tip 1: Get a Lawyer ASAP
Even in cases where your divorce is amicable, it never hurts to have an objective third-party viewpoint. Your lawyer will be able to review all documents for accuracy, equitability, and your rights. In the best-case scenario, you’ll spend a few hundred dollars ensuring your divorce papers aren’t rejected on a technicality.
However, it’s also impossible to predict how quickly an amicable divorce can turn contentious. In the blink of an eye, fights over property, child support, custody, and a host of other factors can turn a simple proceeding into a long protracted court battle. Your lawyer can help you prepare for the worst-case scenario, should it arise.
Tip 2: Divorce Does Not Equal Revenge
In the throes of an emotional and contentious divorce, it’s easy for someone to cling to the mentality of “he/she must pay!” This is one of the most common reactions in divorce, especially when infidelity is involved. However, clinging to that mantra throughout your divorce proceedings can create unnecessary tension, angst, anxiety, and stress.
If you feel your spouse owes you something for their transgressions, you’re more likely to reject fair and equitable settlement offers. While you may increase the overall percentage of your settlement in the short term, the time and money you’ll have spent on legal fees and court battles are more than likely going to be negative.
Even though it’s hard, the single best thing you can do is try and maintain a clear, objective, and calm viewpoint.
Tip 3: Know Your Assets (and Liabilities)
If you’re even contemplating a divorce, you should begin understanding the scope of your marital assets. While this includes regular things such as bank accounts, cash, stock, and the house, you shouldn’t overlook things like artwork, collectibles, and other items of value.
You should also understand what assets the courts consider marital property and which the courts consider separate property. In many instances, assets you brought with you into the marriage should be excluded from divorce settlements. Identify these possibilities upfront, and consult your lawyer about other assets that may qualify.
Let Us Be Your Advocate
Still have questions? You don’t have to wait to find answers about divorce. If you live around the Alpharetta area, contact an attorney at the Reeder Law Firm and get help today.