Getting a divorce is a life-changing event affecting not just you, but your partner and families too. Seeking the help of an experienced family lawyer like Wiselaw.co.uk is the best starting point for understanding exactly what you need to know before you separate officially from your spouse. In this article, we give you another head start with what you should know before getting a divorce.
- Prepare financially
If you are seriously thinking about divorcing your spouse, you will need to consider your finances. Get 3-6 months’ worth of funds saved to pay for your monthly expenses so you have the confidence to move out and pay your own way in the immediate aftermath. This is especially useful if you have limited access to money. If your partner is not happy with the circumstances, they may try to limit your access to finances, to make the process more challenging. It is also useful to have access to your own credit in case you need to buy your own place or put a deposit down.
- Remember no-fault divorce does not resolve financial issues
The introduction of no-fault divorce laws has encouraged a wave of married couples to initiate proceedings. However, it is worth knowing that while the new laws dissolve a marriage officially, they do not handle financial claims between the two parties. If you do not have a Clean Break Order or a Consent Order, then your ex-partner could still claim against you financially. That said, no-fault divorces can often lead to a more harmonious breakup because there is a lack of blame involved in the process. Bear both points in mind before getting a divorce.
- Look at how this could affect your children
Divorce often has a profound effect on children. Whether your children are toddlers or teenagers, they are likely to be impacted by their parents’ separation. Try to keep very young children and primary school age children in their usual routine with nap times, school attendance and seeing both parents regularly. The uncertainty of divorce means daily habits will keep them feeling safer. For older children, ensure you are not involving them in any conflict between yourself and your divorcing spouse, and where possible, keep on communicating with them about how they are feeling. It can be worthwhile seeking the support of a professional counsellor for children in some cases.
- Do not threaten a divorce unless you are serious
Threatening divorce when you are not 100% is not a good idea. This will only lead to further conflict and distrust. Try to really consider whether this is what is best for you and your family. Write down the pros and cons and think about all the implications for your children, your wider family, your living arrangements, and your finances such as property, pensions and other investments which could be impacted.
- Consolidate your support network
Before you get a divorce, make sure you have a strong support network around you. This doesn’t need to be big and may consist of one or two friends and one family member, for example. However large or small your friendship group is, make sure it has supportive and loving people within it. This will provide a useful sound board and a nurturing place where you can let off steam, convey your sadness, and air your frustration throughout the process. If you do not have access to a network of support, this could be a good time to join a support group for divorce. These communities can be particularly helpful if some of the relationships and friendships you had during your marriage are no longer accessible now you are divorcing.