Stay Positive And Polite
It’s so hard to stay positive during a divorce. This is an inherently negative time. Being civil, however, pays dividends. Attorneys, like Rodriguez-Nanney, encourage this route because it makes negotiations easier than they otherwise would be.
It also makes it easier to defend yourself in a child custody case. If you’re the “better half” of the marriage, then it will be harder for the judge to rule against your favor. If you’re seeking joint custody, and can prove a stable work and home life, you’re almost guaranteed to get what you want.
Make An Inventory Of Your Personal Items
Create a list of all of your assets as well as your liabilities and debts. This includes mortgages, car payments, credit cards, and any personal loans. It also includes things like your personal savings, your retirement savings, and any other non-cash assets you own, like precious metals, art, or jewelry. Don’t forget your half of the house – that’s a huge asset.
Take your time when figuring out what you want in the asset distribution phase of the divorce. Think about things you must have, things that are negotiable (it helps to have a large negotiable list), and things you don’t care about at all (which are still a form of negotiable).
Use all of your negotiables to get what you really want and need from the marital assets. For example, if you want to walk away with your grandmother’s fine china, be prepared to give your spouse something he or she wants.
Get A Support Group
Get your mom, dad, friends, or other family members behind you. You need a support group. Maybe you need a shoulder to cry on. Maybe you just need someone to bounce ideas off of. Either way, a support group is almost always a good idea.
Make Your Own Budget and A Clean Break
Most people hang on for far too long after they know they’re getting a divorce. Money is a complex subject, and one that many married couples argue about. They also don’t actually say anything substantive during these arguments or learn anything new about themselves while they’re still in the marriage.
Usually, financial matters go unresolved until a divorce is imminent. Well, now is the time to make a change. If you have to, hire a financial planner.
Start a personal budget by writing down all of your income and expenses. Subtract total expenses from income. This is your savings.
If you have no savings, work on bumping up your income or cutting your expenses. Second, get your own bank account and close the mutual account. Most married folks have a mutual bank account. This is fine. What’s not fine is keeping that bank account after you know the marriage is dead.
Pull out half of the money in your joint savings – leave enough in there for your spouse as they are entitled to half of all of the savings. Rake the checking account in a similar fashion, but leave enough to pay mutual expenses until they can be assigned to you or your spouse.
Ms. Rodriguez-Nanney received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1997. While in Law School, Ms. Rodriguez-Nanney was a member of the Maryland Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, a member of the Latino Law Student’s Association and volunteered with the Public Justice Center, Inc. Ms. Rodriguez-Nanney is an experienced immigration attorney. She also handles domestic matters such as adoptions, custody disputes and divorce proceedings and understands the intricacies of domestic law.