So, you find yourself at a crossroads, believing that your marriage has run its course. It’s a tough situation to be in, but understanding your next steps is crucial. Let’s walk through what you need to consider, especially if there are minor children or complex finances involved.
For Those with Children
If there are minor children in the picture, it is recommended that you and your spouse sit down together, if possible, and have a conversation with the children about the breakup. Avoid talking to them separately and please do not try to sway them to your side. Divorce can be traumatic for kids, and it’s essential to handle it delicately. Consider involving a counselor to help guide the conversation and provide support for the children. Sometimes, children may also need their own counselor to navigate their emotions during this challenging time.
Gathering Essential Information
If you find yourself in a situation where you have been out of the workforce or managing the home front, gathering crucial financial information becomes paramount. In today’s digital age, make digital copies of important documents such as tax returns, mortgage statements, bank balances, and investment details. This information will be vital, especially if you haven’t been actively involved in managing the finances during your marriage.
Understanding Your Options
Before beginning property division discussions with your spouse, seek legal advice. You and your spouse will have different priorities in the divorce process, whether it’s financial independence, dealing with debt, or holding onto specific assets like the family home. Consulting with an attorney and other relevant advisers can provide a clearer picture of your options going into a divorce.
Navigating the Process
Understanding the divorce process is crucial, and there are various ways to approach a divorce such as Collaborative Divorce or Mediation. If necessary, the divorce can be approached as contested litigation. Collaborative Divorce often provides the most benefits overall because it involves a team of divorce professionals that are working towards maximizing each spouse’s goals and priorities. If Collaborative Divorce isn’t feasible, having attorneys present during Mediation is advisable. Alternative dispute resolution methods are generally favored over the traditional, contested, lengthy and expensive court battles.
While the end of a marriage is undoubtedly a challenging time, being informed and proactive can make the process smoother. Remember, you’re not in this alone and seeking professional advice can provide the guidance needed to move forward with confidence.
For More Information Contact an Experienced Dallas Family Law Attorney
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices at 214-420-1800. Our office is located at 2911 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 300, Dallas, TX 75219.