Six Questions to Ask Before You Divorce

You may have felt pushed to the breaking point, and you are now considering divorce. However, divorce is not something that should be entered into hastily. In fact, given the gravity of the situation, you should take some time and space to consider whether or not this is the best decision for you at this time. In some cases, spouses may have contemplated divorce for years, and in other cases, one event can be devastating enough to spur talks of divorce. Whatever your situation, know that divorce is never an easy or fun experience. Consider the following questions before you officially ask your spouse for a divorce.

Are You Sure?

You may be extremely angry about a current circumstance, or a situation that has lasted for years. Marriage is difficult, for certain. Emotions run high. Tempers flare. As you likely already know, there are different seasons in a marriage, some of which are good, and some of which are frustrating. Take some time before you ask for a divorce to consider where you are in your marriage. Perhaps visit a counselor to discuss your feelings. Once you serve divorce papers on your spouse, any chance of reconciliation may be gone.

What Are Your Finances?

How will you take care of yourself financially after the divorce? Have you checked all of your bank accounts recently? What about safes? Retirement accounts? Safety deposit boxes? If you are unsure whether or not your spouse is lying about financial considerations, it may make sense to take an inventory of your finances prior to asking for a divorce, and even create a spreadsheet. Make sure not to spend too much on frivolous or expensive things prior to the divorce as that can be seen as the depletion of marital assets.

What About the Children?

Have you thought about how this divorce will impact your children? Have you considered your child support needs or thought about the child custody or visitation schedule? Child visitation schedules typically need to be created during the divorce process as one spouse likely moves out of the home. No matter what your preferences are, the court will always look to see what is in the best interest of the child. While the best interest of the child standard is a subjective one, it typically revolves around having both spouses involved in the child's life both emotionally and financially. Consider what types of child visitation schedules may be acceptable to you prior to filing divorce paperwork. It is important to consider all aspects of a divorce and how they will affect you and your children prior to actually serving divorce papers on your spouse.

Where Will You Live?

Where will you live following the divorce? In some circumstances, moving out of the marital home can make it challenging if you want to keep the home after the divorce. Visiting with an attorney can help you understand your legal rights to the marital home. There are some cases in which a spouse who makes the decision to leave the marital home actually loses the right to stay in the marital home following divorce. If you believe that you would like to keep ownership of the marital home after the divorce, consider carefully whether or not you want to. However, if either you or your children are in danger, you should always leave the marital home immediately, and contact law enforcement or a local shelter for assistance and help.

Do You Have a Support System?

Make sure you have a strong support system prior to filing for divorce, so you have friends and family to lean on during these difficult times. It is extremely important to find a support system prior to actually filing for divorce. As soon as you file divorce paperwork, you truly have no idea how your spouse will react. In many cases, spouses act very differently than expected due to the fact of the unique and overwhelming circumstances that accompany a divorce. In this time, you will be facing not only the confusing and challenging time of divorce, but also the anger and resentment of your spouse. Having a strong support system will allow you to have in encouragement and support through this entire process.

Have You Contacted an Experienced Divorce Attorney?

One of the most important things that a spouse can do before asking for a divorce or serving divorce paperwork, is visiting with an experienced divorce attorney. An attorney can help ensure that your legal rights remain protected and that you make the best possible decisions for you, for your finances, for your children, and for your future. Before you serve paperwork on your spouse, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Monroe, North Carolina at 704.370.2828. We can help you understand your legal rights. Contact us by phone or online today for your free consultation.