There are few events as life-altering as going through a divorce. Life as you know it can be completely upended, and even if the end result is a huge improvement – it is still a stressful time. More complex still is the paperwork, proceedings, and formalities they come with filing a divorce with a divorce lawyer. If you would rather learn about what is coming before you file for divorce and learn at the moment, here is how you can prepare for this journey.
Discuss With Your Partner
From start to finish, you are going to need your partner to be engaged in the divorce proceedings so that you can get through this in a timely manner with the least amount of conflict. Sit down with your partner (at a time when the children are not around and you have space to yourself for an extended period of time) and tell them your intentions to file for a divorce. Hopefully, this decision is not sprung on your partner, although if it, outline your intentions clearly and don’t be afraid to get relationship advice. You may choose to file for divorce jointly or solo.
Understand Your Eligibility
There is an eligibility criterion for divorce and what this looks like will vary depending on the country you reside in.
Generally speaking, eligibility includes the following:
- You, your partner, or both of you are citizens in the country you reside
- You intend to continue living in this country
- You have been separated from your partner for 12 months
- You have your marriage certificate
A couple cannot pursue a divorce if they are residing in another country or have only been separated for s short amount of time. Marriages that are not legally-bound marriages cannot be divorced under the state if they are not recognized as such.
Find Legal Representation
Finding a divorce lawyer is going to make proceedings more streamlined, and even if you feel educated and prepared in this space – there is always going to be an advantage in having one who will provide advice based on your unique circumstances. Most countries have free legal aid if you cannot afford one, and it is generally expected that you and your partner will have separate representation so you are equally represented.
Custody And The Division Of Assets
If you do not have children or jointly own any assets, then your divorce will be straightforward. If you do have children and assets then you will be referred to a family lawyer following your divorce where you can discuss your options for child custody and reach an outcome with your partner. The division of assets can be handled by your divorce lawyer, so be sure to provide honest information about your history together and all belongings. In an ideal situation, you and your partner will arrive at a decision together about the division of assets.
Filing For Divorce
When all of these considerations have been made and you have come to a mutual agreement with your partner you can then file for a divorce through a government portal. From there, your lawyer will be the point of contact and tell you how the application is progressing and what else if anything needs to be supplied in addition to that application. There is a cost to getting a divorce so be aware of what that price is so that you can appropriately plan for that expense. This cost is separate from what you pay your divorce lawyer.
While this guide might be straightforward and void of emotion, a divorce can often be anything but that. Work through each stage as you encounter it and always try to have a productive interaction with your partner when you do make contact so that things can move in the right direction.