Written by Jonathan Breeden
According to the American Psychological Association, as many as 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. While getting a divorce is probably one of the most taxing and emotional events you can go through, it may be necessary. To get through your divorce with as few complications as possible, keep the following tips in mind:
You and your spouse are no doubt feeling many emotions right now. You’re both having to make stressful decisions, such as who keeps the house and who pays alimony or child support. You may have feelings of bitterness or resentment. While it may seem impossible, it’s very important that you try to maintain a calm, practical attitude with each other. Letting your emotions get the best of you will only make you angrier and could stall your divorce proceedings. Using your attorney as a mediator during your divorce can help both sides maintain clear heads and calm attitudes.
When filing for a divorce, keep in mind that the court will want to see proof of all marital property and assets, as well as bills. You’ll need to provide bank statements, car loan documents, mortgage details, credit card bills, retirement plan summaries, and verification of any other debt or asset you accrued during the marriage. Gathering this paperwork can take time, so you should get started as soon as you decide a divorce is in your future.
Minor children can be greatly affected by their parents’ separation. Getting them personally involved in your divorce will likely only make things worse. Whatever goes on between your spouse and you does not have anything to do with your children, so it’s best not to fight in front of your kids or speak badly about each other to them. When presiding over a divorce involving minor children, the court will always strive to do what is in the best interests of the children, and you should adopt the same attitude as well.
It’s tempting to want an outlet for negative thoughts, and many people have started using social media to vent. However, getting online to bash your spouse or to brag about how you’re getting one over on him or her is severely frowned upon and can be detrimental to your case. It’s best to only minimally use social media accounts during your separation and divorce. If you need an outlet, you can always talk to your attorney, a close friend, or start a journal.
Because North Carolina is an equitable distribution state, you can ask the court to divide your marital assets and bills equitably. However, you also have the power to do this yourselves, which many couples elect to do during their mandatory one-year separation period. If you let the court decide, keep in mind that its decision regarding separation of property will be final, so it might be in your best interest to make these choices yourselves. A divorce attorney can help you negotiate separation of property in a way that will be approve by the court.
Be sure to review your will, as well as any powers of attorney, retirement accounts or investment accounts where your spouse is listed as the primary beneficiary. A divorce will end your marriage but does not automatically remove your spouse from your estate or your financial accounts. Your family law attorney can help you create new documents that supersede all previous determinations of beneficiaries.
Obtaining legal assistance during a divorce is, perhaps, the most important step you should take. Your divorce will go much more smoothly if you contact a skilled divorce attorney from the beginning. An experienced attorney will know what paperwork you need to gather, will act as your liaison to your spouse and his or her attorney, and can handle custody matters, modification of your will, and division of your assets.
Attorney Jonathan Breeden of Breeden Law Offices has helped many North Carolina residents by making their divorce proceedings as stress-free as possible. To see what he can do for you, call (919) 661-4970 today.