What to do When Getting a Divorce is Your New Year’s Resolution
To some, it may seem strange to have divorce as a New Year’s resolution. To anyone who has ever been trapped in an unhappy marriage, it makes complete sense. No matter how long you’ve been considering it or how many times you have gone back and forth, you’ve decided that 2023 is the year when you will divorce and start over. Before you file the paperwork, though, it’s crucial to get everything ready and in order. Doing so can prevent unnecessary delays and complications.
Looking for reliable legal advice as you navigate your divorce? Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne at 251-928-1915 to set up a time to talk to our team.
Know the Divorce Laws in Your State
Before you make any important decisions, make sure you know the divorce laws in your state of residency. Some of Alabama’s divorce laws are significantly different from those you’ll find in other states, and you should be prepared. For example, Alabama allows fault-based divorce. Those who successfully secure a fault-based divorce may have the upper hand when it comes to spousal support and the division of assets. With a quick review of divorce laws, you’ll know about any potential issues that may arise.
Have a Financial Plan in Place
There’s really no way around it—divorce can be expensive. Even if you and your spouse navigate the important issues quickly and incur minimal legal expenses, the cost of living on your own with one income will likely be a challenge. It’s important to know how you will get through the time between filing for divorce and finalizing the divorce. During this timeframe, the court often establishes temporary child support and spousal support orders to ensure that both spouses can make ends meet.
You should also take steps to separate your finances to some degree if you currently share everything. This does not mean taking joint money from the account. That is a move that shows bad faith and can really sabotage you in court. You can, however, put money aside to pay a lawyer’s retainer fee and cover basic expenses. The full division of the marital assets will be handled during negotiations, but in the meantime, you need to be able to feed, clothe, and support yourself.
Prepare for Your Children’s Needs
If you and your spouse have children, know that this time will likely be incredibly difficult for them. Even if you do everything perfectly and limit the emotional damage, they will still struggle with their lives being uprooted. Be proactive about meeting their needs by looking into pediatric counselors, figuring out their support network, and finding ways to preserve their routines and activities throughout the entirety of the divorce process.
Ensure That You Have the Support You Need
Divorce can be mentally and emotionally draining, even if it has been the obvious outcome for months or years. Be prepared and know whom you can turn to when things get hard. Your support network may include close family members, best friends, and mental health professionals. Knowing whom you can trust before you need to ask for help is much easier than trying to figure it out in the middle of a breakdown.
Get Your Legal Team in Order
No matter what the circumstances of your divorce are, it is crucial to protect yourself with the help of an attorney. Even when both parties agree on the terms of the divorce, having an attorney handle the paperwork for you and explain the consequences of different decisions can prevent you from making any big mistakes.
It’s okay if you’re not ready to move forward with a divorce right away; scheduling a consultation allows you to understand your options and figure out what other steps you need to take to prepare for what comes next.
Contact Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne to Start the Process
Although divorce is hard, you can make it a little bit easier on yourself with the right legal team. At Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne, we help clients navigate this painful time with dignity and privacy. Schedule your consultation now by calling our Fairhope office at 251-928-1915, calling our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3685, or sending us a message online.