If you are going through a divorce, you will find yourself faced with making a number of important decisions that will affect your life and those of your children for many years to come. And while it can be tough to keep focused on making good decisions for your future during this highly emotional time, these five essential steps should help:
1. Be clear on what you want, what you don’t want, and what you need.
To be successful in negotiating an agreement you can live with, you need to be clear about what you want, what you don’t want, and what you need. It also helps to know the same for your spouse. Having these insights will help you negotiate better by figuring out what you are willing to compromise on.
2. Know that now it’s business.
Legally speaking, marriage is a contract. Now that it’s a contract you want to dissolve, you will need to follow New Jersey law on the division of debts and assets, child custody and support, spousal support, etc. Even though there are usually a lot of emotions attached to the conclusion of your marriage contract, it is important for you to navigate the business aspects of this process with your emotions in check.
3. Know your financials.
Being intimately familiar with your family finances will help you make rational decisions as you negotiate your divorce. In most marriages, one spouse handles the finances more than the other. If it’s that way in your household, and you’re not the one who handles the money, it’s time for you to learn everything about your income, assets, debts, and the household budget. If you need help, find a financial consultant.
4. Create your support team.
There are three key elements of divorce: legal, financial, and emotional. While family and friends will no doubt be a welcome source of emotional support for you, you need a team of professionals to guide you properly — an experienced family law attorney, a financial consultant, and perhaps even a therapist. Your team will keep you on track so you don’t waste money, time, or emotion fighting for something unattainable.
5. Keep your future in mind.
As you negotiate your settlement terms, it is imperative that you look forward, not back. While you should make it a goal to remain on good terms with your ex — especially if there are children involved — it is very important that you not agree to something that puts your future in jeopardy.
When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of an experienced family law attorney often prove crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of your family law matter. Contact us today for your free consultation.