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Things to Do Before Divorce
Things to Do Before Divorce in New Mexico
If you are considering divorce there are things to think about before committing to this life-changing decision. Here are seven things you should consider:
#1. Divorce will impact you and others for a long time. Take your time.
The two of you have decided divorce is the only option left. Usually in this case everybody just wants out as fast as possible. Just get it over with please!
Wait a second. The terms of this divorce are going to affect you, your spouse, and your children (if you have any) for a long, long time. Do not rush this process. Think carefully and try to understand how each decision will affect you and others. Ask for opinions, weigh consequences, ask questions, and make decisions based on facts — not emotions.
#2. What about the kids?
The actions you and your spouse take now will affect your children for the rest of their lives. Not only the decisions you make about custody and support – but the decisions you make about how you treat each other through and after the divorce process.
How will you tell them you are drastically changing their lives? How do you not allow your anger and resentment to be passed on to them? If possible, discussions with your spouse about your options on how to avoid hurt and confusion are crucial. Talk about where the kids will live, how they will get to school, and when they will see who. These might be very difficult things to do before divorce, but they are very important.
#3. Who is your attorney?
Often we see someone come into the office after a divorce has already gone horribly wrong. By definition your attorney is there to look after your interests and is on your side. Even in a ‘friendly’ divorce there are ALWAYS sides. You need someone you can trust to be brutally honest with you while providing unbiased legal opinions and advice based on your situation.
#4. Do you really need to go to court?
Before either of you decides to ‘get’ the other, stop and think a minute. Who is going to be hurt the most in the long term and is it even important? Do you really want to spend the money and time to do battle in an open courtroom, asking friends and family to choose sides? Who is really going to get hurt in this situation?
Revenge is a very bitter pill.
We recommend most couples attempt mediation first. We can help with this as the third, unbiased party to sit with you and make real attempts to end your marriage on as friendly and cost effective of terms as possible.
#5. Can you afford divorce?
Whether you decide to try mediation or not, legal and court costs can be significant. In addition, divorces can take time.
It is very important to plan ahead and set aside funds ahead of time if possible. Plan for the unexpected. Are you moving out? Will you have to pay for two households? There are all kinds of potential costs. You might use a financial analyst to get your financial affairs in order long before you start down the path to divorce.
#6. Get your legal affairs in order.
If you are changing the people in your life it might be a good time to update your will and any other legal papers having to do with succession, insurance, and death. If something were to happen to you in the middle of your divorce, and you had not taken care of these things, guess who will? Your spouse, of course.
#7. Emotions do not make for good negotiations.
Think this whole process through and you will see that allowing emotions to make your decisions for you will have consequences. For instance, if you are angry and use your children to ‘get back’ at a spouse – that will come out sooner or later and it will hurt you in the eyes of the court.
One of things to do before divorce is to really understand whether you will be able to control your emotions. If not, then using legal counsel to represent you is even more critical.
Certainly there are many more things to do before divorce than these, but this a good start. Our strongest recommendation is no matter where you are in the process, if you do not have legal counsel call us today.