The process of divorce can be daunting. Divorce is an emotionally, physically, and financially taxing period in one’s life. On the other hand, staying in a bad marriage where conflict is high is much more difficult and has negative consequences for you and your children.
Because divorce is overwhelming, there is a chance that you won’t be thinking clearly and objectively about your needs and your short and long-term goals. When emotions are running high, and there are a lot of conflicts, you can be sucked into the drama, the accusations, and all the anger, guilt, and fear.
If you still have your better judgment intact, you might be paralyzed by fear. Then you cannot apply what you know will work for you and what is best for your family. Or you might be so overwhelmed that you want the process over as soon as possible, even if it means you might be signing your life away and waiving your rights into a one-sided and unfair settlement agreement. As in life, divorce will always be stressful, and you need to plan so the stress won’t get the best of you when you need to focus and protect and fight for your rights and interests.
When You Are about to Start the Process of Divorce in Pennsylvania
Your marriage is in trouble. It cannot be sustained anymore. The important thing here is that you must ensure the marriage is over. It would help if you took the time to make sure that you’ve thought about the issues and that they are irreconcilable. Most people take several weeks or months before they are certain their marriage is over unless you and your children are in immediate danger, such as when there is domestic violence (not only is your marriage over, but it is also dangerous). If the latter is the case, you need to leave immediately and ensure your safety and that of your children. If the former is the case, you need to take the time to gauge and know the concrete short and long-term consequences and impact of your divorce. This way, you will be prepared to deal with random contingencies and have a more substantial chance of reaping the benefits of a fair and timely outcome and resolution.
Take the time to document the family’s financial data, such as loan applications, mortgage filings, debts, credit card accounts, billing statements, and insurance coverage and policies. Getting everything to do with the family’s finances will give you an estimate of what you and your spouse will have to divide between yourselves. If you have this estimate, you will have an idea of what steps you need to take to ensure that you stay afloat using only your source of income and what you might likely get from the settlement. Also, having sufficient and valid documentation of every asset and property will foster a transparent financial disclosure and a fair and equitable property division. The documentation will give you information on how much you need to survive and live decently. Hence,o you have to know how much you should ask and negotiate in terms of alimony, child support and custody, and property division.
If you think you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse will have an amicable settlement, you can research other alternatives to divorce. Mediation can be less costly. It encourages and supports a pathway to finding cooperative and mutually beneficial solutions that you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse find agreeable. Because the approach is non-adversarial, there is less friction and bad blood between soon-to-be-ex-spouses. This benefits the children because it prepares the pathway to effective co-parenting.
After Taking the Time to Think about the Impact of Divorce
You already have the information that you need to have a concrete idea about what divorce will be like and what it will mean in the future after the divorce. You have thought about what is important to you and what things you can adjust to or compromise with to get to what you think is more important and has more impact on your values and priorities. Maybe you want to spend more time with your children. Maybe you have more at stake in terms of keeping the family home. If so, do you think you can deal with foregoing other valuable assets and properties to keep them? Do you see yourself effectively co-parenting, and are you willing to put in the time and work to ensure that you will be in the near future?
No two divorces are entirely alike. Every marriage has its issues. No one has a fixed and made-to-fit answer to most divorces. The next important step is to consult the right lawyer to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. The legal team at Petrelli Previtera, LLC would be happy to schedule a consultation so we can help you take your marital situation from chaos to clarity while protecting your rights during divorce.