Make sure you get a solicitor who specialises in divorce. You might need to look outside your local area.
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Think about what you want to ask your solicitor before you meet them and prepare a list in advance. Ask as many questions as you like. When you meet with your solicitor you should take your marriage certificate, and passport or driving licence for ID. There might be local solicitors your colleagues have recommended before. Tell your client that their nearest solicitor might not be the cheapest or best for them, so they might need to speak to more than one.
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Getting a divorce This advice applies to England Print. If your partner makes you feel anxious or threatened, you should get help. Did this advice help? Yes No. Why wasn't this advice helpful? Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages.
Advertiser partners include American Express, Chase, U. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others. Divorce is almost always painful. However, it can be a relatively easy process where both spouses desire an amicable parting, or it can be hell-on-earth where one or both spouses are out for blood. Sometimes, even the amicable ex can turn spiteful and downright nasty when the other starts dating, for example.
Prepare ahead of time if you think divorce is likely or if you already have plans to leave. Find out if your paycheck, the car you purchased in your name, and your retirement account belong entirely to you or are half-owned by your spouse. How property is treated in your state will affect how you proceed with protecting yourself. It can be much easier to protect your assets in a separate property state because ownership is clear.
If you had your own bank account before the marriage, keep that money separate from any joint bank accounts. If the only bank account you have is a joint account with your spouse, open up your own and start contributing to it. However, be aware that if you live in a community property state, whatever you deposit in the new account will be considered a marital asset unless you establish a formal date of separation first. Especially in community property states, this step is extremely helpful for protecting your income, your sanity, and preparing you to live life on your own.
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Once a date of separation is established, your spouse can no longer claim half of your income as theirs, or any new assets you acquire with that income. One way to establish separation is to move out. A move to your own apartment, new home, or even back to your parents house makes it clear that you and your spouse are no longer functioning as a couple. Income received after this date should be untouchable by your soon-to-be ex.
Establish your own credit by getting a credit card in your name only. Do not authorize your spouse as a user or joint account holder.
Timing Is Everything
You might need the card for an emergency in the very near future. Lastly, behave well. All of these actions can come back to haunt you during the actual divorce.
If you can afford it, hire a quality lawyer. While the fees may be high, the stakes are even higher. That being said, a good lawyer is simply not an option for many people. Mediation and arbitration are less expensive and less time-consuming options that occur outside of a courtroom. Mediation can make sense for couples on relatively good terms and in agreement on how to split assets and child custody.
On the other hand, arbitration involves the resolution of differences by a third, ideally neutral, party.
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However, this may be unwise in all but the simplest and most congenial of circumstances. Change all account passwords as soon as possible. Your email, social media, and financial account passwords should all be changed. When you choose a new password, make sure it has nothing to do with your life together. No family names, birthdays, pet names, or other information that your ex would have knowledge of. Also, review all of your accounts and take note of which are joint accounts.
They may be able to limit access to the accounts and thereby prevent you or your spouse from depleting them. Conduct yourself appropriately during all proceedings. Do not speak angrily and avoid saying and doing things that could be used against you in court. Avoid having conversations alone with your ex during the proceedings. Make sure you have a representative or other third party not your children present during any contact. If you act in a way that is above reproach, you will be more likely to receive concessions during the divorce — especially if your ex has been behaving poorly.
If you have children, you probably tried hard to avoid a divorce. You may be feeling guilty and want to do everything you can in order to make them, and yourself, feel a little better. A guilt-ridden parent is more likely to spoil their children which is not good for anyone, children included. The kids might be more confused than ever and desperately need structure. Get visitation and custody clearly established. Where hostility and manipulation are present, it will be best to make this legal and get it recorded in a court of law. If you can agree on who pays what and stick to it, this may be better than establishing a formal child support order.
If you have been paying most of the expenses in the household, you might be the one paying child support. If you have been a stay at home parent , you may be the one receiving child support. Increasingly, though, many divorce cases involve two incomes. If a support order is pursued, the non-custodial parent could pay much more to support the children than the custodial parent, regardless of income. The calculation varies by state and is affected by the following factors:. Remember, perhaps the only reason the two of you have to communicate now is for the sake of your kids, so play nice.
Alimony is support to one spouse from the other and is generally awarded when one spouse has been supporting the other financially during the marriage.
Timing Is Everything
If one spouse has stayed at home without a job, or worked a low-paying or part-time job, the spouse with the higher income can be ordered to pay support for a certain amount of time. Not all spouses ask for alimony, though. Either spouse is permitted to ask and the court will decide on the merits of the case.
Alimony payments can be changed later as circumstances change.