Some couples who face problems are able to sit down and discuss their differences with the hopes of avoiding a tumultuous divorce. Help from a family therapist or mediator can provide objective advice that can repair the rifts and save the couple from separation. Even if the couple still ends up divorcing, this initial attempt can put them on a smoother path that does not involve as much anger and emotions.
When a divorce is inevitable, the spouses can begin by creating list of all their assets and debts, starting with major items, like the home, vehicles, mortgage, bank and investment accounts, insurance policies, and credit card debt. There can be discussions about who will get what, and supporting documents will be needed to back these claims. Shared debt will need to be split up as well. It is also good to know that states have different laws that will apply to the divorce proceedings.
The issue of child custody can be difficult, but it will be easier if the children’s best interests are prioritized. The first topic will be the amount of time that each parent will be spending with them and if it will be equal. School breaks and holidays also need to be taken into consideration, as well as how the exchanges will be handled and transportation concerns. Including the children into fights can cause emotional trauma and should be avoided.
How Should Finances be Discussed?
Divorcing spouses who harbor anger often feel as though they deserve more than half of the assets. Instead of negotiating fairly, they want to try to hide money and assets. Being honest about finances will make the divorce more amicable; full disclosure of every asset, liability, debt, income, and expenses is essential.
Being dishonest on an income and expense declaration can cause significant legal ramifications. A spouse may even try to close up their joint accounts and credit cards without the other partner’s knowledge. This is also a good reason to split these up as soon as possible during the initial divorce phases. Blaming the other spouse for all the problems is not productive. So many factors play into divorce, and one spouse is not always entirely to blame.
It can help to focus on the long-term goals; this can lead to a more amicable divorce. With time, the couple and children will adjust to their new lives. Combating over small details can lengthen a divorce.
How Should the Details be Handled?
Some experts suggest that each spouse write down their three most important goals to achieve during the divorce, such as wanting half of the retirement account, every weekend with the kids, and similar objectives. This could be referred to if the couple starts to argue and will help them prioritize what is important. It can also help them create a basic settlement agreement to use as a starting point for the separation; this can save a great deal of time and money later on.
If there is a prenuptial agreement or any other important documents that will be needed for a divorce lawyer to review, these should all be gathered ahead of time. Some divorcing parents also put together initial child custody schedules, which can also be useful.
Can I Make Changes to Accounts and Policies?
Although it may be acceptable to close out a joint checking account, one spouse should not make significant changes to any insurance policies, sell off assets, or put the house up for sale during the proceedings. Doing any of these actions could financially harm the other spouse. Couples who have significant assets should be especially carefully to maintain that status quo until the divorce is finalized.
If one spouse wants to move out of the home, it may be possible to move in with a family member or to arrive at a temporary agreement to keep the situation stable. A separating spouse can also take care not to flaunt a new relationship with another partner in front of the other spouse or children; this can create ill feelings and affect the outcome of a divorce.
How can a Lawyer Help with Divorce?
Mediators can help with many of the divorce negotiations, but it is usually best for each spouse to have their own divorce lawyer. Mediators are usually not qualified to give legal advice. Although a mediator can make a divorce more amicable, a qualified lawyer is needed to work through the details and preserve a divorcing spouse’s best interests.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients Reach Amicable Divorces
It is best to try to have an amicable divorce so the proceedings go smoothly and quickly. If you need sound legal guidance in matters pertaining to separation and divorce, reach out to a knowledgeable Towson divorce lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. For a free consultation, call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online. We have offices located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, and we serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County.