Couples Need to Prepare for the Legal Side of Divorce: Here's How They Can Get Started

It's important for couples who want to divorce to understand the legal side of the process.

Divorce is rarely a simple or easy experience. Any adult who has been divorced knows that the process brings with it many different emotions. Couples may fight during the divorce process or they might remain silent. They might feel angry or they may feel numb. Each person processes divorce in a different way; however, it's important that adults involved in a divorce pay attention to the legal side of things. Although their emotions may be running wild and stress may be at an all-time high, it's vital that divorcing partners understand how they can prepare legally.

First off, adults who are separating need to make sure they understand what their assets are. Couples who have been together a long time may have accumulated large amounts of joint assets, including property or vehicles. Couples need to gather legal documents that show proof of ownership of each of these items. Belongings and assets will need to be separated and divided between each party, but before this can occur, couples need to know exactly how much they own and whose name is on each document.

Adults who have children should discuss their preferences for custody. Although one parent may have primary physical custody of a child, both parents might have legal custody. Even the non-custodial parent may have a say in how the child is raised. This can include decision-making in regards to the child's school, as well as medical decisions that may need to be made. If possible, involved couples should try to come to an agreement regarding custody that works for each person involved. Sometimes this type of agreement can't be reached without assistance and a judge may need to make the final decision.

If a couple lives in a state with a separation requirement prior to divorce, they need to have their date of separation legally documented. They can do this by visiting an attorney who can document the date of separation. Couples may be under the impression that they can simply live in different spaces and have this "count" as their time of separation; however, it is important to have this legally documented by a lawyer so the divorce can proceed as planned.

Couples who plan to separate need to meet with an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will help answer questions about the divorce process and can provide guidance throughout the experience. Whether a couple has been married for months or decades, it's vital that they receive legal counsel as early as possible in the divorce process. This will help the couple to ensure they cover each of their bases and don't miss filing important paperwork that could legally impact the divorce.

If you are considering divorce, reach out to an attorney today who can help you through the process. The right lawyer is an incredible asset you won't want to be without.