Before you visit your lawyer’s office for a divorce, know reasonably well the sorts of things that will happen during a divorce. Don’t walk in there expecting the lawyer to teach you or things in your divorce can get nasty fast. By the way here are some reasons why people divorce.
Of course, I am sure that your lawyer won’t mind teaching you. But do you want to pay between $100 and $400 an hour for lessons? You’re going to pay for it if you don’t do your homework.
Tips to avoid the divorce get nasty fast.
Knowing the process, you can save a lot of time. This information is available in the public domain, and most divorce courts have free pamphlets explaining your rights, obligations, and the divorce process.
Are there state laws you have to consider? Find out.
Are there federal laws you have to consider? Find out.
The time you spend going over freely available information is time well spent.
Likewise, getting your lawyer to familiarize you with the law is time wasted.
Do your homework and learn enough about the divorce process in your local area, and this will save you hours of frustration and lots of money.
Preparing forms stops things getting nasty
bring a draft proposal outlining what you want out of the divorce to your first meeting with your lawyer.
In essence, it states, “This is what I want, and this is what I’m willing to offer.” It may speed up the divorce process as your former partner’s lawyer could review it, make a counter-offer, and come to a quick settlement.
You may have to exchange some assets to get an agreement, but this will cost significantly less than a court case.
Either way, your lawyer has a lot on their plate. They might already be working 70-hour weeks. You are unlikely to be on the top of their list. But be confident when they talk to you – they are charging you.
Come to your meetings with a fair proposal. This proposal will accelerate a settlement agreement.
Prepare to Divide Both Assets And Debts
Don’t just expect that property is the only item divided. Debt is a huge factor in most property settlements — school debt, credit card debt – any debts acquired during the marriage.
It’s not uncommon for someone going through a divorce to acquire new, significant debt. For example, suppose your former partner moves out of the home. They’ll need new furniture, household items, maybe even a car. You don’t want to take on that debt.
So get a separation agreement as quickly as possible once you know the marriage is over. Don’t think you’re immune to your former partner’s spending because you are now separated. Don’t think that putting it in the back of your mind or just forgetting about it will make it go away. You remain exposed. Only now do you have no insight into what your former partner is doing?
Sometimes, you can find yourself with less than nothing – a huge debt and no way to pay it. For example, after my friend divorced, he was left with a huge debt. His wife received the business, leaving him with no readily available income. Ouch!
Limit your exposure to new debt with a separation agreement. Try to get this agreement quickly. The longer the separation agreement takes, the bigger your risk, so save yourself many hours of frustration trying to negotiate this later.