There are no one-size-fits-all answers for the best way to ask a divorce. It’s a big step with a truckload of potential complications and individual nuances. Getting a divorce involves far more consideration than simply submitting your paperwork to the court. It is smart to be prepared before you ask and to become familiar with your state’s divorce laws. To achieve a better outcome, you might want to keep these six questions in mind.
Am I Sure I Really Want a Divorce?
Sometimes when things are not going well we find ourselves on an emotional roller coaster. Marriage, of course, doesn’t come with a working manual so it’s always a good idea to stop and take a breath before you act. Long-term decisions, including divorce, should only be made when we are calm and thinking clearly.
You might consider exploring marriage counseling before taking that final step. Once all avenues and hope of reconciliation have been explored without positive results, it may be time to ask your spouse for a divorce. It makes sense, at this point, to educate yourself about your state’s divorce process so the experience will go as smoothly as possible.
What About the Children?
Children are a huge factor when making the decision to get a divorce. It will affect their lives as well as yours especially if they are younger and still at home. Every state has its own guidelines for determining who will have custody of the kids and what each parent is expected to pay in support after the legal proceedings are done.
Most states, including Florida, use the Income Shares Model to determine basic child support. It stipulates that the child should have the same financial benefits as he or she would have if the parents had stayed together. Most courts today are leaning toward granting equal or shared child custody as the best outcome for the child.
How Much Will My Divorce Cost?
The cost of getting a divorce varies by how complex the case may be and which state you live in. Florida is one of several states that only requires the couple to prove their marriage is “irretrievably broken” in order to proceed. This “no-fault” system prevents long, drawn-out court proceedings saving both time and money. An amicable “dissolution of marriage” costs far less than a contentious one.
Besides attorney fees, you can expect to pay court filing fees as well as outside experts such as a tax advisor or a real estate appraiser if necessary. All of this should be taken into consideration before you make the decision to ask your spouse for a divorce. It can be an expensive process bringing with it plenty of emotional and financial stress before it is all over.
Should I Shop Around For an Attorney?
It is always smart to work with a divorce attorney who understands your goals and can offer solutions even to your smallest problems. You will want someone who you are comfortable with and who will best guide you to the outcome you want. As a trained professional, your attorney serves as a negotiator and a navigator through what sometimes can be a complicated process.
Choosing quality legal representation can make all the difference. Law firms like Florida Law Advisers, P.A. in the Tampa Bay area will help you make the right decisions without draining your bank account. Hiring the right attorney for your specific situation is crucial to avoiding costly mistakes that you might regret for a long time to come.
How Will Property and Assets Be Divided?
All your property belongs to both of you unless you can prove it was obtained prior to the marriage or given as a gift to either spouse. Judges will often divide assets equally if possible. Each person’s economic circumstances will be taken into consideration including where and with who the children will live after the divorce. Judges strive for equitable solutions to fair asset distribution.
Shared real estate is often the trickiest and most complicated of the disputes when couples decide to part ways. Even though people sometimes form an emotional attachment to their homes, you may find it easier to sell and split the profits. Much of this depends on whether either spouse can keep up with the payments or how it might affect the children to uproot them.
What Documents Will I Need?
It is a good idea to gather all the documentation you might need before asking your spouse for a divorce. Being well-prepared with all your paper records in order can save you headaches in the long run. It is wise to make copies of your financial records, mortgage payments, phone records, and car notes as they may prove relevant to the divorce proceedings.
Massachusetts trial and appellate attorney, Ann Narris, sums it up this way: “Practically everything is divisible, including frequent flyer air miles or royalties from a book you wrote.” Doing your homework ahead of time should include a detailed inventory of your major family and household possessions along with any credit card debt and tax returns. Taking the time to organize will make the process easier down the road.
Contact Us Anytime
Florida Law Advisers, P.A. is the Tampa Bay area’s comprehensive choice for top-of-the-line legal counsel. Our team of knowledgeable and solution-oriented attorneys goes the extra mile to provide a wide range of services concerning divorce and child custody matters. We are ready to handle even the toughest divorce cases with understanding and commitment. We will stay by your side from the start until the job is done.
Every individual divorce situation is different. We take our time to listen and work to establish desirable goal results for you and your family. Our law firm is recognized both locally and nationally for excellence in legal representation with cost-effectiveness in mind. We are available every day and at any time to answer your calls and discuss your concerns.
Contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A. today for a free consultation and to let us know how we can help.