Divorce is a very hard process and nobody should get through it alone. Do you need divorce help? My best advice is to speak with a lawyer immediately – even if you think it will be amicable. Chances are at some point, things could get nasty. You must protect what is rightfully yours. In addition, I have known several people to just walk away from their marriage and their entitlements because they just wanted to get out. It did not take long for them to realize this was a big mistake. Divorce has such a massive impact on your financial position, you don’t want those decisions affecting the rest of your life, or any future relationship you may have.
If you have debt in your name, like credit cards or student loans, you will want to pay those debts down as much as possible before a divorce. Most American families spend close to their entire income, if not more, and when one household becomes two, there is often not enough money to pay the both sets of expenses unless something changes. You may have to cut down disposable purchases, sell your car and get a less expensive model, or maybe sell the house. If your spouse does not voluntarily support you and the children, your remedy is to ask the Court to order support. You will not have a good prediction of any of this and you will not know the answers for sure until the agreement is signed or the judge makes a ruling. But, the point is to think about it and identify problems and possible solutions. Then take the actions that you can take and avoid missteps.
The best divorce advice I have for others going through a difficult divorce is to find a reliable support system. What I mean by that is, the divorce litigant should have a reliable friend, family member, awesome therapist, or a divorce group they can count on to talk to about the divorce and the experience. This is extremely important because divorce litigants can foolishly squander thousands of dollars either attempting to utilize the judicial system as retaliation against their spouse or exploiting their attorney as a therapist rather than for legitimate legal advice. At the cost of accumulating thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal fees and avoidable headaches, litigants can easily mitigate mistakes like these simply by voicing their frustration and feelings through therapeutic means. Talking it out will help the litigant focus on the real issues, preventing hurt feelings, sorrowful emotions, and resentment from getting in the way of resolving the divorce matter quickly and fairly.
This is a very bad idea for two reasons. First, except in extremely egregious cases, most courts won’t punish your spouse financially for being a bad person. Second, hiring an attorney to punish your spouse will cost you because your attorney will need to increase the number of hours spent on your case. Increased attorney hours means higher divorce costs, and higher divorce costs means there will be fewer assets and cash left for you and your family. Try to take the emotion out of your divorce, and treat your case as a business arrangement. The best revenge is to live well after the divorce is over.
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