It may not ever be easy to break up a marriage but there are things you can do to make things easier. Read on for some tips on parting ways while staying off the battleground.
Be open with your spouse.
Once it's clear that you want to split up, speak with your spouse about it. Try to get things started using a conciliatory attitude and maybe your partner will do so as well.
Focus on communication with your spouse and begin working out some of the details.
In many cases, it's better to make some agreements as soon as possible. It could be more difficult later on when the reality of the new situation sets in.
Speak to a lawyer.
You might consider talking to a lawyer right away. You can get some advice on how to approach things and some tips on what you need to do right away to protect your financial interests.
Hold some kitchen table conferences. You and your spouse will need to agree on several things. If you can do so out of court, everyone wins. Focus your discussions on divorce provisions like:
- Child custody.
- Creating a child visitation schedule.
- Deciding on who will move out and who will remain in the house both now and after the divorce.
- Discuss vehicles, insurance, payments, and the use of the vehicle if you have only one.
- Divide up the debts by listing them and indicating which ones are joint debts. Then, note when the debt was taken out.
- Make a list of your major assets and include bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, and everything else of value you both own. Leave out personal property that was owned prior to the marriage, gifts, and inheritances.
Talk to a mediator.
Divorce mediators can help you resolve disagreements about the divorce without involving the court system. Mediators are trained to be neutral and seek compromises.
Consider creating a legal separation agreement.
This agreement will help you cope with decisions and can set things up for a smoother divorce process later.
File for divorce.
It's often advantageous to be the first one to file for divorce. You and your spouse should be living separately by this time and have a separation agreement in place. This step provides you with the legal teeth to seek financial protection. For example, once you file for divorce, you can begin the process of dividing up a retirement account using a QDRO.
Reach out to a firm such as Hand Law, P.C. for more information.