Research on marriage and divorce has been conducted for decades, and the results consistently point to a sobering truth: the probability of divorce in a marriage is relatively high. According to data from the American Psychological Association, nearly half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. This number has stayed consistent over recent years, despite increased efforts to improve marriage counseling and education.
The reasons behind this statistical reality are varied and complex. Experts cite financial instability, difficulties with communication, changing societal roles, unresolved childhood issues, and more as contributing factors. One of the most common threads identified is incompatibility; simply put, couples enter marriages without understanding their differences or having the skillset necessary to work through them when disagreements arise.
Unfortunately, your marriage may be one of the relationships that fail to survive. If you and your partner are on different paths and headed toward divorce, it pays to understand some necessary steps. Here are a few preparatory steps to take.
Collect Evidence and Assets
Evidence is essential when it comes to a divorce, as it helps both parties understand their legal rights and obligations. Through documentation, couples can identify the assets they have acquired during the marriage, including property and other items of value such as furniture, cars, electronics, and jewelry. Not only that, but you can also use evidence to determine alimony and child support payments.
When collecting evidence for a divorce proceeding, each party should obtain documents such as property deeds, tax returns, bank statements, investment accounts statements, loan agreements, pay stubs, or proof of income from any employment or self-employment. Each person needs to keep detailed records of these documents throughout their marriage to ensure accuracy in the division of assets at the end of a marriage.
Couples should also be aware of any marital debts accumulated during their union. This can include any credit card debt accrued over time due to shared purchases or loans. In some cases, one partner may be liable for debt incurred by the other partner before marriage. Knowing this information beforehand will help couples prepare themselves financially and emotionally for what lies ahead in their divorce proceedings.
Hire Divorce Mediation Services
The divorce process can be complex and emotionally draining for both parties. It is helpful to hire a professional mediator who can provide legal advice and help the couple negotiate the terms of their separation agreement in a way that works for both of them. The mediator acts as an impartial third party and allows couples to agree on issues such as child custody, spousal support, division of assets, and other related matters.
Divorce mediation services are beneficial when one partner may feel intimidated by or overwhelmed by the prospect of handling all aspects of the divorce proceeding themselves. A mediator will ensure that all parties have their interests represented fairly throughout the process. They also help facilitate conversations between each partner and work toward creating a mutually agreeable resolution.
Make Financial Preparations
When couples are headed toward divorce, they should prepare themselves financially by ensuring all accounts and assets are adequately documented and divided according to the terms of the separation agreement. This includes investments, real estate, savings accounts, etc. It is also essential to account for any alimony or child support payments that may be necessary for the future.
Each party should consult a financial planner when preparing for divorce so their individual needs will be met and their credit won’t suffer due to any lingering debts or obligations from their union. Additionally, seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney can help save time and money.
Finally, couples should make a habit of tracking expenses throughout their divorce proceedings. This includes any legal bills, court fees, or other costs associated with the process. Keeping a detailed record of all payments will help ensure that all parties involved are accurately informed and can make informed decisions throughout the divorce proceedings.
Moving On with Life
Once the divorce has been finalized, it is essential to focus on rebuilding one’s life. This can include getting back into a routine, from attending exercise classes to taking up hobbies or volunteering in the community.
It is also helpful to create a budget and plan for any expenses associated with the divorce settlement or alimony/child support payments that may be necessary. In addition, staying connected to friends and family can help provide emotional support during this transitional period.
Finally, it is essential to keep lines of communication open between former partners, especially when children are involved. The divorce process can be complicated for everyone, but setting healthy boundaries and maintaining respect will help both parties positively move forward with their lives.
Going through a divorce can be emotionally and financially draining, but taking the proper preparation steps can make it much easier for all involved. Awareness of marital debts, hiring mediation services, making financial preparations, and focusing on rebuilding one’s life are essential components to navigating the divorce process. Proper planning allows couples to move forward with their lives in a productive way.