Divorce can be a complicated process fraught with emotional, financial, and legal pitfalls. One of the best things you can do as you embark on this journey is to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Whether you are planning on hiring the services of a divorce attorney or not, it will still be in your best interests to be prepared so that you navigate the process with confidence. While there is a wealth of information available about the basics of divorce and divorce law, there are also many lesser-known facts that you may not be aware of.
You Can Shop Around for Attorneys
You don't need to stick with the first attorney that you consult with. In fact, it is often a good idea to consult with multiple attorneys before you select one to handle your divorce proceedings. Treat these consultations as interviews, but do not simply look for an attorney who tells you what you want to hear.
The advantage of having an attorney on your side is that they are knowledgeable about the law and objective in their evaluation of your situation. Find an attorney with experience that you can trust, not one who simply makes you feel good about your situation.
Just About Everything Can Be Divided
You may think that some or many of your assets are safe from division, but the reality is that most of what you own can likely be split in the divorce. The exact rules for dividing assets vary by state, but the only major distinction made in most cases is between marital and separate property. In the legal sense, separate property generally refers only to property acquired before the marriage. This means that almost any items acquired during the course of the marriage are fair game, even if they were not purchased with the intent of being shared.
Of course, you are also welcome to come to an agreement with your spouse on how property should be split. Many people believe that property must be split fairly or that the court must enforce a property division, but separating spouses can almost always come up with a split on their own. If the final decision that you and your spouse arrive at is acceptable to both of you, then the judge will almost always accept it.
Loans Can Be Problematic
Many people don't realize that both debts and assets are divided up in a divorce, often along the same marital vs. separate lines used for property. This can create issues for debt such as car loans, where there is also property that needs to be assigned.
In some cases, the vehicle may be sold to pay down the loan and the remaining debt assigned to one or both parties. If the loan is in both your and your spouse's name, it may be necessary to have the loan refinanced. While issues such as this can usually be resolved amicably if you and your spouse are dividing assets yourselves, they can become major headaches in contentious divorces.
You Probably Shouldn't Date During Your Divorce
This can sticky and often feels unfair, but the reality is that dating during your divorce can potentially affect your settlement. As with most issues surrounding divorce, whether this is truly a bad idea will depend both on your jurisdiction and your relationship with your spouse.
If your divorce is amicable and you discuss dating beforehand then it likely won't be an issue, but for contentious divorces, it can potentially affect everything from the amount of support you receive to the division of parenting responsibilities following the divorce. If you are at all concerned about how dating may affect your divorce, always consult with divorce law attorney first.Share
16 March 2019
Like many people, I once found learning about law very intimidating. My brother went to law school and I remember glancing through a few of his books and wondering if I was actually reading English due to all of the legal jargon in them! However, when I ended up in a sticky legal situation due to accidentally breaking a small law I didn't know existed, I realized that I needed to learn more about the law, so I could make sure to follow it precisely in the future. My brother helped to break down some complicated legal concepts to me, and I have since been studying up online. I want to post what I have learned and continue to learn about law in the future on my new blog, so my knowledge cannot only help myself, but also help others!