It’s that time of year when we are about to sip champagne and ring
in the New Year. The celebrity buzz is Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert
of country music stardom have called it quits and their divorce will be
well underway in 2016. Couples unhappy in their marriage wait until January
and this time of year to take the next step.
If you have been thinking about divorce January is the perfect time to
get a fresh start. However, when approaching a divorce it’s important
to be properly prepared. Here’s what I suggest:
Research and hire an attorney specializing in divorce: Consider one who is also a mediator so you can choose the right path for
you. Not all divorces have to be adversarial and litigated. Give yourself
the option of working with a mediator. It will be cheaper, faster and
involve less conflict. Think about what approach might work best for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask the attorney what your options are.
Gathering financial documents: You should start looking for and organizing as much documentation as you
can: bank accounts, stock accounts, credit card statements, tax returns,
mortgage info, pensions, and anything you will need to share with an attorney.
Start thinking about your budget and what you need to live on: Take a look at your expenses. What is it going to take for you to continue
to live in the manner in which you have become accustomed? Look at your
rent, mortgage payment, cable, phone, internet and any other expenses
associated with how you live right now. You may be surprised to find you
need a lot more money to live on than you thought.
Ask the Attorney/Mediator lots of questions: Make a list of issues to discuss before you meet with your divorce attorney.
Ask about spousal support, child support, how the finances will be split,
tax consequences, health insurance, life insurance, pensions, child custody,
visitation, etc. Having this list will help you maximize your consultation time.
Don’t be afraid to take the first step: If this marriage has been difficult and you want out, don’t procrastinate.
Find out what your rights are and what you are entitled to. Divorce doesn’t
have to be chaotic and painful. Being informed will give you the strength
you need to make the right decision for yourself and your family.
If you need a divorce attorney with decades of experience who is also a
mediator who will give you the guidance you need,
contact us today. I am also writing a book on the Psychology of Divorce and I will
be happy to share my unique legal/psycological strategies with you!