Ending a long-term relationship is not easy, but sometimes, separation and divorce are realities that need to be faced. While nobody wishes for their marriage to end with a legal battle, it is, unfortunately, true in a number of circumstances. To help make better decisions during a divorce, here is what you should do before applying for divorce, or during the early stages.
The best way to keep divorce-related legal issues from escalating is to seek legal counsel from an experienced family lawyer. Not only will a lawyer be able to explain all the points mentioned below in greater detail, but they will also support you throughout the whole process: from negotiations and the paperwork to representing you in court if need be.
It is all too common that one partner will handle certain accounts over the other. Just think of how often we hear phrases like:
“I do the business my wife does the books.”
“My partner takes care of the bills.”
“I don’t know, my husband organised it.”
In planning for separation or divorce it is important that you get up to speed with all your shared financial accounts. Understand which accounts will continue to affect you and what you can cut yourself off from during your separation. You don’t want bills in your name that don’t apply to you or to lose services that do apply to you, that are not in your name.
Be sure to close any and all joint accounts including savings, credit card accounts and obtain a new account in your own name. Overspending using marital joint accounts can lead to accusations of dissipating assets in the settlement process – you do not want this.
This goes hand in hand with the above point, but make sure to take care of things like changing names on leases and updating your agreements to reflect your situation. This way you are not liable for any potential issues caused by your partner or any unpaid bills, account or rent.
Nobody wants to believe the worst but this is an important precaution anyone dealing with divorce or separation needs to take – especially where kids are concerned. This includes making and keeping copies of documents such as marriage certificates, birth certificates and passports including your children’s. This will avoid any chances of your partner leaving with your children or withholding any of these important documents.
This is particularly important if you have children. You are separating from your partner but this is not the case for your children, the other party is still their parent. So don’t let negative feelings towards your partner affect your judgement and how you treat them in front of the kids.
It’s in everyone’s best interests to avoid getting nasty during separation and divorce legal processes. Threats never serve well and court battles are not a desirable option when they could have been avoided in the first place. If you find it difficult to communicate calmly with your former spouse, the most appropriate solution is mediation through your lawyer.
If you need clarification on any of the above points, get in contact with our friendly team of legal experts at Pentana Stanton. Our lawyers specialise in family law and assist clients going through separation and divorce with a compassionate and results-oriented approach. If you are thinking about separating or divorce, get in touch with our team today to talk about your options and legal concerns.