Thinking About Divorce Like A Lawyer
Going through the divorce process can be challenging due to both emotional concerns and legal ramifications. For both those reasons, though, it's wise to try to think about it the same way a divorce attorney would. Before you move ahead with the dissolution of your marriage, here are some thoughts on how a lawyer would approach the problems you're likely to face.
The disconnect between the emotions of a divorce and the legal practicalities is something that a lot of folks struggle to maintain. If possible, attempt to view it as a process that occurs alongside how you feel.
Your goals should be straightforward. Protecting your rights is important. If there are any children from the marriage, you want to see that you and your former partner set your kids up for the best future possible. It's also critical to resolve a slew of various issues, such as retiring debts you incurred jointly, dividing up common property, and assigning parenting responsibilities.
Do not make this about punishing your former partner. First, judges can catch on to the angry feelings in divorce proceedings, and an unhappy judge is a judge who's less disposed to treat you sympathetically. Second, it's just a good choice for your own personal being. If your ex decides to make this a fight, use your divorce attorney as a shield and make your former partner direct all communication through them. Otherwise, keep it cool and stay on task.
There can be a temptation to try to handle a lot of potential problems in an unstructured manner, especially if you and your ex seem to be able to get along well following the end of the marriage. It cannot be stated strongly enough how bad an idea this is, even in an amicable breakup.
Why is that the case? Legal protections need to be put in place. For example, what happens to your kids if something happens to both you and your former partner? If there's paperwork in place assigning clear custody, the court can then follow that to conclude which relatives a child should live with.
Divorce agreements can also provide a structure for dealing with alimony and other support payments. How long will payments last? Who's responsible for paying off old bills? Will kids' educational expenses come into play? It's best to get these down on paper so no confusion sets in later.