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3 Things You Need to Know About the Legal Side of Divorce


Article provided by Jeffery M. Leving.

Once you’ve made the decision to separate from your partner, you’ll typically feel a variety of emotions. You might feel relieved, happy, stressed or irritated. You might feel anxious. You might even feel resigned. Dealing with the emotional side of divorce can be quite difficult for many adults; however, there’s another side of divorce you need to consider: the legal side. Although you might feel emotionally ready to separate from your current spouse, understand that there are legal steps you must take in order to fully separate. Here’s what you need to know.

1. You may need to pay child support

During a divorce that involves children, one parent typically ends up paying child support to the other. If you and your partner separate on amicable terms, you may be able to come to an agreement as to how this will work. If, however, you cannot agree, a judge may order one of you to pay a certain amount of child support. There are many factors that contribute to determining how child support will be given. Typically, the goal with a divorce is for the child to have the same lifestyle as before the divorce, so if one party will make significantly less than the other, or if the child will live primarily with one parent, the other parent may pay. Talk with your attorney about planning for child support payments and for an understanding of how this type of payment is calculated.

2. The process takes time

Divorce doesn’t happen overnight. When you separate from your partner, you’ll need to file the appropriate paperwork. Your attorney can help with this. You’ll also need to divide your assets. Some spouses can work through this together; however, you may need to ask your lawyer for help or even meet with a mediator who can guide you through the division of assets. Note that the longer you have been married and the more assets you have accumulated, the more challenging dividing these belongings can be. Make sure you give yourself time for the divorce. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. While many divorces are completed promptly, especially if both parties agree to the separation, they can sometimes take months to complete.

3. Divorce can be costly

While you understand that you’ll need to hire an attorney to represent you and that you may be required to pay alimony or child support, keep in mind that there are other costs associated with divorce. Most notably, the cost of moving. When you and your partner separate, one party will need to find a new home. Moving to a new place, paying for a separate home, and setting up new utilities can be both time consuming and costly. Make sure you are prepared for the financial impact of divorce prior to separating from your spouse.

If you have questions about your divorce or you’re simply ready to get the process started, make sure you meet with an attorney who can help you with the process. The right lawyer can answer your questions and ensure that you’re taking the necessary steps to complete the paperwork quickly and accurately. Additionally, your attorney can offer you valuable insight and resources that can further help you as you separate from your partner.