Divorce. A word that means many things to many people, divorce is defined as “the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body” or “a separation between things that were or ought to be connected.”
Divorce tends to be thought of in terms of a relationship between two people that has soured. It is easy to lose sight of just how much further the reach of divorce is. In fact, there is no legal issue that has more potential to affect as many diverse areas of your life, as well as the people you hold close to your heart.
At some point you stood at an altar, a courthouse, or maybe even a Las Vegas chapel, and made the decision to join your spouse in marriage. As evidenced by the U.S.’s over-50 percent divorce rate, even the best intentions cannot prevent a divorce.
There is no way around the fact that divorce will change the relationship you have with as well as the thoughts and perceptions you have about your spouse.
You may avoid contact with your former spouse for the rest of your lives, or you may need to maintain an amicable relationship for the sake of co-parenting your children, but one thing is certain: The dynamics of your relationship will never be the same.
Children are the innocent bystanders of divorce. They never asked to be created, they are not responsible for your irreconcilable differences, and they almost certainly did not ask for you to get a divorce.
Ideally, parents would be able to set aside their differences and personal issues in order to establish a united front for co-parenting. This is in the best interest of children as they adjust to the post-divorce reality of their family.
A number of critical legal issues will need to be resolved to ensure children are cared for and supported, including child custody, visitation, and child support. Your children are the most important part of a parent’s life. As a result, issues involving children are the most likely to result in lengthy, expensive and vicious litigation.
Even though you have chosen to no longer share a bed with your spouse, you are still on the hook for the financial “bed” you have made together throughout your marriage. Not only will your marital assets be subjected to equitable division (the definition of equitable division varies from state to state), but you will also be subjected to an equitable division of your marital debts.
A “perfect” financial situation in a marriage can quickly become a problematic financial situation after a divorce for no other reason than having to divide income and assets in two. People who had grown comfortable in a double-income household may need to tighten their belts, while a stay-at-home parent may need to re-enter the workforce after a long hiatus.
Staying in the same home post-divorce is not unprecedented, but it is extremely rare. Chances are one or both of you will be moving out of the place you collectively have called home during your marriage. This can be an extremely difficult process, often made contentious by the hard feelings that can surround the end of a relationship.
It is crucial to obtain a proper valuation of your real estate and other property in order to ensure that marital property is divided equally. For example, a spouse who is granted possession of a house in a divorce will often receive far less cash or other assets to compensate the other spouse. In other divorces, neither spouse wants the house and agree to split the proceeds (or debts) of a sale.
Go Into Divorce With Your Eyes Open
Divorce does not have to be terrible; it can be a chance to start fresh and enjoy your life. Now that you know the potential impact of your divorce, you can work to mitigate the risks and set yourself up for your second act.
Chat with one of our licensed attorneys about the best way to tee up the post-divorce transition in a consultation today.