How to Get a Divorce: 5 Steps You’ll Need to Take
Are you at your wit’s end with your spouse and looking for a way to move on? Do you feel it best if both of you got the chance to start anew? If so, then you need to learn how to get a divorce and do it as amicably as possible.
Doing so can help you get the fresh start that you’re looking for. However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The most important thing to remember is to control what you can control.
See below for an in-depth guide highlighting how to get divorced so that you can both move on with your lives.
- Consider Your Situation
If you have children, then the divorce isn’t just about you. The choices that you make moving forward are going to have a significant imprint on your children’s lives from this point on.
Before you get yourself in too deep on this situation, be sure to take stock and consider what you’re leaving behind, as well as what you’ll be taking with you. A significant portion of the divorce process will be about splitting things down the middle, and that isn’t always a good thing.
For example, many people think of divorce as an “opportunity” to divide their wealth from their spouse. However, you’ll also have to divide the debt that you two have accrued.
During the divorce, you’ll have to think through the division of property, debt, child support, custody, visitation, life insurance, health insurance, and so on.
You’ll also have to consider the cost of legal fees. Now that you’re seeking a divorce, you’ll be in charge of covering your own court fees and lawyer fees.
Be sure to hire a trusted local divorce lawyer to represent you. They can help make this process as smooth as possible.
- Should You Get One?
While there are certainly situations in which a divorce is necessary (such as when someone is being physically abused), every marriage has its rocky moments.
The key is to not jump to conclusions too soon. Even if your marriage has reached its lowest point in years, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to give up. Always assess the situation before making a definitive decision. Once you choose to get divorced, it’s hard to backtrack.
There are some tell-tale signs that it might be time to move on. Do you guys bottle everything up? Do you hide your emotions from them? Have you or they been caught being disloyal on several occasions? Are you removing yourself from the statement of “we” and focusing more on “I” and “me”.
If you think your marriage could be salvaged, then try going for couples therapy and spending more quality time together to talk things out. By simply trying these things, it will become glaringly obvious whether you have a future together or not.
If you’ve tried all of these things (and more) and nothing has changed, then it’s time for you both to move on.
- Remain Amicable
Many people hold off on getting a divorce because they’re dreading the lengthy legal process. They’re afraid that there’s a choppy legal battle brewing if that door were to be opened.
While it’s true that you can’t control the other person’s reaction to the divorce, you need to focus on keeping things as amicable as possible. The more you do so, the quicker the process will be.
The divorce process is full of high emotions. The more you can remove those from the equation, the better you’ll be. Try to agree on things like child custody, property division, and spousal support.
If you wait too long then you’ll be forced to go through mediation, which always leads to someone having their feelings hurt.
- Divide Your Debt Evenly
Even if your spouse was the one that held a majority of the debt in the relationship, you want to try to be as fair throughout this part of the process.
Try to draw a line in the sand with the different debts you have. For example, credit card debt should be dispersed evenly, as should the mortgage on your house.
However, if one of you is planning on keeping the house, then that person should keep the mortgage for themselves.
Student loans should be assigned to the person whose name they’re under. However, if you two had chosen to focus on paying the student loans off one at a time, then you’ll want to split the remaining debt fairly.
- Hire an Attorney
Once you’ve made a decision to file a divorce, you will want to meet with a lawyer to discuss the process moving forward.
Make sure the lawyer you hire is specialized in family law. Don’t hire someone because they’re in your network or related to one of your friends, this is a legal battle you can’t afford to sabotage.
Your attorney will be a guiding light during this process. They’ll provide concrete steps for you to follow in order to help the process move along as quickly as possible.
How to Get a Divorce: Keep Constant Communication
Constant communication is important when learning how to get a divorce. The less you blindside your spouse, the less intense the situation will be. As difficult as it can be, the conversation has to happen.
If the situation between you and your spouse is too delicate, then your attorney can be the one to communicate with the other side.
Be sure to browse our website for more articles on how to get a divorce, as well as many other topics that you will find helpful.