Divorce is a legal process that results in the end of a marriage. Although this definition is accurate, it does not fully embody the truth of divorce. It is more than just the end of a legal contract; it is the end of a personal relationship. Those who are moving forward with a divorce can benefit from taking action to protect their interests during the divorce process. The following tips can help.
#1: Know what you want.
It is a good idea to step back and take a look at your life before you move forward with the divorce. Which assets are important to you? Do you have children? If so, what do you want for them?
Get an idea of what you want to keep after the marriage and what you are comfortable leaving behind. Perhaps you are interested in keeping the family home. If so, offering to trade another valuable asset can increase the odds you get the asset you want. Business interests, another piece of property or a larger share of retirement assets are some examples.
#2: Know your options.
Gone are the days when those going through divorce had only one option. Although traditional litigation is still available and frequently used, it is not the only option. Alternative dispute resolution options like mediation and arbitration are two examples that can provide more control. Instead of depending on the court to finalize your divorce settlement agreement, you can meet with a neutral third party and negotiate the agreement on your own terms. If the divorce is amicable, this can be a great option. If not, traditional litigation may still be best.
#3: Take a moment to prepare.
Do not go into the divorce unprepared. Gather information about the marital assets and debts. If children are present, put together an outline of their days, needs and interests along with how you can best help them have a healthy upbringing. It is important to keep in mind that although you are ending your personal relationship with your spouse, the parental relationship will remain. If possible, try to come up with an arrangement that provides the children with time with both parents.
It is also important to point out that you do not need to go through this process alone. It is a good idea to put together a team to help you reach your post-divorce goals. This group can advocate for your interests throughout the divorce process and could include a financial advisor, counselor, and legal representation.