5 Tips to Getting Divorced in 2020
The beginning of the year is usually a busy time for divorce lawyers. Divorce filings typically begin to spike in January and continue through March when filings peak. As the post-holiday season concludes with a return back to reality, some couples reevaluate their future together. Many individuals utilize the new year as a time to reevaluate their options and educate themselves about divorce. If you are contemplating a divorce, it is important to consult with a divorce attorney to learn your options and decide the best way to proceed forward. If you decide to meet with a divorce attorney to begin the new year, read the 5 tips below, so that you will be informed and prepared for the divorce process.
1. Get Your Financial Documents Together
Many of the issues related to a divorce will involve the financials of you and your family. In order to prepare for a divorce, it is important that you start gathering financial information, so that your attorney has all of the information necessary to properly advise you when proceeding with a divorce. Your divorce attorney will need to know the income of you and your spouse as well as the assets and liabilities that you and your spouse have acquired during the marriage. By gathering tax returns, bank statements, retirement account statements, credit card statements, and mortgage statements, your attorney will begin to have the information he or she needs to properly advise you during the divorce process. Further, if the divorce involves investment properties or a business, any information related to those assets will also be useful.
2. Set Aside Money
Divorce can be an expensive process, especially if it becomes contested. You will need funds for attorney’s fees and additional expenses resulting from one home splitting into two. It is a good idea to start a separate bank account and save money to assist with moving expenses, attorney’s fees, and to have some money set aside in case you need to vacate the home during the divorce process. However, be sure to disclose the account during the divorce, so that it does not appear that you are hiding funds.
3. Social Media and Divorce in Florida
Remember that anything you post on social media can be used against you in court. If you are contemplating divorce, be sure not to post negative or disparaging remarks about your spouse on social media as the posts could come back to haunt you later in court. Further, do not place your children in the middle of the divorce on social media or otherwise.
4. Formulate a Post-Divorce Plan
When contemplating a divorce, you should have some idea of your post-divorce plan. Do you anticipate keeping the marital home or selling the marital home? If you are going to sell the marital home, start doing research as to where you anticipate moving, what the housing costs are in that area, and if the area would require your children to change schools. Think about the best parenting plan for you and your family. Would you prefer to do a week-on/week-off schedule, a 3/4/4/3 schedule, or some other schedule. Using a calendar, draw the schedule and see how it would impact your day-to-day life. This will allow you to anticipate whether you will need to utilize child care and account for that additional expense. Developing a post-divorce plan allows you to make informed decisions when going through the divorce.
5. Understand the Divorce Timeline
It is important to understand the divorce process. A typical divorce that settles at mediation will take anywhere from three to six months. If the case proceeds to trial, it could take a year or longer. The legal process is not quick and does not provide instantaneous relief. Understanding the timeline will allow you to pace yourself and prepare for the process.