Separation is an emotional roller coaster ride even if it is your decision to end the relationship this will not have been at a whim. The concept of a relationship coming to an end is a life changing event on many levels and creates so many questions and uncertainties the biggest invariably being either about the children or your home.
We understand how important it is for our clients to prepare for divorce. Realizing that your relationship is headed towards divorce can be a shocking and difficult thing to understand. However, if you prepare for divorce by doing these 7 things you can save money, time, and, potentially a lot of heartache. You will also be able to get so much more out of the time spent with your legal adviser / Mediator
- Do you really want a divorce?
Some of you may be thinking, “Of course I want a divorce that’s why I am here!” However, stop and think for a minute if that’s really true. You may want to consider marriage counselling, or some other form of therapy. If it doesn’t work, you haven’t lost anything, and if it does, you may have saved a good marriage.
- Consult a Family lawyer.
At this point you do not have to retain a solicitor. Solicitors now a days offer fixed fee packages to help support you financially through the separation process, however; you should at least consult with a family lawyer from the outset so that you may get specific advice on your situation. We charge an initial consultation fee of £125 plus VAT. This provides you with your investment to protect your future. Many clients make poor decisions before they walk in our door. Don’t be that client! You can always retain us at a later date, but mistakes made early in a divorce case can be costly to rectify at a later date.
- Don’t involve the children.
This can’t be stressed enough; don’t put your kids in between you and your spouse. Do not disparage your spouse in front of the kids. Show the kids that they are what are most important to you and your spouse, and make sure that their lives stay as unchanged as possible as everyone experiences this difficult situation. It may well have been your spouse who decided to end your relationship but it certainly hasn’t been the children’s decision. They will still love you both despite how much you may be hurting. We have written any blogs about helping your children through divorce please read through them for more help in this respect.
- Begin gathering and copying documents.
Once you’ve decided to end the marriage, start making copies of tax returns, bank statements, car loan information, mortgage information and any Pension accounts you may possess. In essnce to enable you to get substantive legal advice before engaging in the next steps of your separation your Lawyer will need to have a full picture of what your and your spouses financial affairs consist of both from an income perspective and Capital. If you can provide these to your solicitor, you save time and money. This also gives your lawyer a better idea of what you can reasonably expect to get in a settlement or trial. This information will also be needed for mediation.
- Know your Household expenses.
This section goes along with number 4, know where the money goes in your home. If your spouse always did the finances but through a joint account get copies of the statements. It would assist greatly if you knew what your spouse earns in salary and benefits and what their retirement plans and accounts are. Having this information is extremely beneficial when creating the documents incidental to a divorce and in obtaining your legal advice. Also, obtain your credit report. This is very useful especially if it turns out your spouse has created accounts in your name without your knowledge. It does happen! These can be done online for a small fee.
- Look around your house.
Do you know what it is worth. We would recommend you do do some research into its true value. Is there a mortgage. What is outstanding on the mortgage? Is your mortgage portable. Do you have your own mortgage capacity of so how much.
Inventory the major items in your home. As the divorce proceeds you may need to split furniture and other items with your spouse, make sure you know what’s in the home, so that you can get a fair share when it comes to dividing those items. Is there anything of value over £500.
- Keep your head up.
Divorce is a tough time for anyone, don’t shoulder the burden alone. You’re not a bad person, and ending a marriage is not something to be ashamed of. Find and see a counsellor whether this be a professional or friend. Many clients have reported to us that seeing a counsellor reduced their stress level concerning the divorce considerably. Remember that your friends will be there to help and support you through this ordeal and will want to help you but they will also be biased toward you and seek to protect you and your interests that is where your legal advice can help to bring in objectivity and advise on realistic outcomes and aspirations.
For further advice please contact one of our family team here