Good planning is essential to making a successful start to getting a divorce. Even though you may feel you are ready from an emotional standpoint, you need to be sure you are legally prepared before you file. Here are five planning tips to help you prepare for a divorce:
#1: Talk with an experienced divorce lawyer.
No one can help you navigate the divorce process better than an experienced divorce lawyer. You need their expertise and the benefit of their experience to guide you and help you avoid common mistakes that could impact your life for years after the divorce is final. The more complicated your finances are, the more you will need to rely on your attorney for guidance on dividing pensions, retirement accounts, property, etc. Start your divorce journey by sitting down with an attorney to put together a game plan that will work for you now and in the future.
#2: Learn about your parental rights.
Nebraska courts will want you to make every effort to co-parent successfully with your ex, as their belief is that having both parents in a child’s life is in the best interests of the child. Of course, if your ex has addiction issues or engages in criminal activity, that’s a different story. But in general, you are going to have to keep your child’s best interests as your focus, even if you don’t have a good relationship with your ex.
#3: Time your filing.
Divorce is stressful for children, so you may consider timing your divorce filing for a date when children are not already experiencing stress, like going back to school or during holidays. If your ex typically gets a large bonus at the end of the year, you may want to time the filing for right after the bonus comes through, so the funds are included in the division of assets. You and your attorney should discuss a strategy for the timing of your filing so it works to your advantage.
#4: Don’t let emotion rush your filing.
It’s human nature to want to hurt someone who has hurt us, but you only hurt yourself if you rush to file for divorce when emotions are running high. It is certainly understandable if you want a cheating spouse out of the house, but slapping him or her with a divorce filing that hasn’t been thought through could come back to haunt you. Mistakes made in divorce paperwork take time and money to fix.
#5: Learn to negotiate.
Courts prefer that divorcing couples negotiate to settle things themselves, and you will have many opportunities to do so during the divorce process. You will be better served in the long run if you keep yourself open to negotiation. Courts tend to view spouses who won’t negotiate unfavorably; being stubborn and trying to use the court to exact revenge is likely to harm you more than your ex. Instead, consider mediation as a less expensive and time-consuming way for you and your ex to reach a settlement that will result in a divorce that both of you can live with.
Your legal team at Koenig|Dunne is here to provide you with guidance and advice regarding all of the issues you will face throughout the divorce process.