All The Legal Advice You Need Before Getting A Divorce
Getting divorced is a big emotional undertaking. It’s also a legal procedure that needs to be respected. There is a process that needs to be followed, with deadlines and paperwork, that can feel daunting, especially if you have no legal background. The following will explore some common pieces of advice that can help you navigate a divorce.
Don’t Take What You See In Movies As Fact
First and foremost, you need to understand that every divorce is different. No two marriages are the same, so it follows that the dissolution of marriages won’t be the same either. Do your best to avoid news stories regarding high-profile divorces, friends’ sob stories, or tales that sound more like a battle than two people trying to separate amicably. Don’t watch Marriage Story. Don’t watch Kramer vs. Kramer. No divorce movies at all.
You don’t want to be jumping into a situation expecting some highly dramatic, horrific scenario to play out. There are just as many divorces that happen gently and fairly; only those ones tend not to make for fantastic stories and so get told less often. Think about it, the divorced person who had a smooth dissolution and is now enjoying their single life or new relationship isn’t still talking about the divorce seven years later.
Understand The Requirements For Divorce
Depending on where you live, there might be different legal criteria you’re required to meet in order to petition the court for a divorce. For example, in Alberta, grounds for divorce include one of the three following points:
- If you have been separated for over a year (and not reconciled during that time for more than 90 days), you’re able to file for divorce. In simpler terms, this means living apart for over a year.
- If infidelity has taken place, you’re also able to file for divorce. It’s important to note that evidence will need to be provided if this is the route you wish to go.
- If cruelty has been present in the marriage, you can petition for divorce. Only a single instance needs to be proven.
Of course, the requirements for divorce vary between provinces and countries. Ensure that you know ahead of time what these criteria are and, if possible, agree with your spouse about the approach the two of you will be taking.For example, if you plan on going through a legal name change in Arizona, the process will not be the same as changing your name in any other state. Thus, talking to someone who understands local laws and regulations can ensure a smooth process.
Children, Property, And Shared Businesses Can Complicate Things
If custody, matrimonial property, or shared businesses exist, there is the possibility for the divorce to be complicated. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it will be; all it means is that you need to be prepared to discuss these options. If you cannot come to an easy agreement regarding these things, you might want to seek out mediation or other forms of guidance or support.
Take Care When Choosing An Attorney
When selecting a lawyer to assist you with your divorce, you want to look out for a few things. Foremost, you want to avoid any attorney that makes promises. While a lawyer can point out what is likely to happen, no one can promise a certain outcome. Second, you want to pay attention to how much of a lawyer’s focus you get during your consultation. If they’re constantly being interrupted by visitors or phone calls, this is a pretty good indication of what working with them is going to be like.
In contrast, what you’re most looking for is someone who can explain to you the process in a way that you understand. You can guarantee that being confused is only going to add to the difficulty of the situation. Ensure that you also ask about any support staff a lawyer might bring on to help with your situation and feel that person out too. Most law firms aren’t single-person scenarios, rather team-based machines. Try to speak to everyone that will be handling your case before making your decision.
Seek Out Emotional Support
Changes are never easy, even if everyone agrees that the changes are positive and worth seeking. Because of this, you can expect the process to be emotional, and that’s completely okay. It’s ideal if you find an outlet that is healthy and trusted, like a good friend or a family member.
The above tips should be able to help you feel prepared for the legal portion of your divorce. Again, no two divorces are the same, meaning you can’t compare your situation to other peoples’. You and your spouse need to find a balance that works for your marriage, not anyone else’s; this might mean the divorce takes longer than you expected or that it’s over more quickly than you feel ready for. Take it one day at a time.