Vital Divorce Basics to Know Before Filing
Sometimes divorce is simply unavoidable. It may be that the couple has mutually agreed that it’s time for the marriage to be over, or it could be that one side wants to keep working on the marriage and the other just wants to move on with their lives.
There are a lot of people who ended up getting divorced even though they really didn’t want to. It can be a very frustrating and heartbreaking time. Complicating things even further is the legal aspects that have to be considered.
For those who’ve never experienced the process before, there’s much they have to learn. Read on to find out about a few must-know divorce basics.
Getting a Divorce is Not Just a Matter of Will
Many people who finally decide that they must divorce their spouses are shocked to find out that they actually have to meet some requirements first. For example, in many states people must be residents of the state in order to apply for a divorce within that state. Each state has its own rules regarding residency qualifications, and that could pose a challenge for those who’ve recently moved, as some states make recent arrivals wait an entire year before they can qualify, although the common length of time required is six months.
In addition, there are some states which require married spouses to live separately for a certain length of time before allowing them to file for divorce. This law is established with the hopes that marriages within the state will simply be reconciled instead of ending. There’s only a very few states whose laws are loose and flexible enough to allow for quick divorces.
All Divorces Must Be Approved by a Judge before Becoming Final
No matter what state you reside in, there’s one law that all of them have. In every state, a divorce is only considered final when the judge approves of the divorce settlement. For some couples, this is where the real trouble begins because they must agree on things like the division of property and child custody. Ironically, this is the part of the divorce basics more people are aware of.
If an agreement isn’t reached on these things, the divorce case could linger on for a long time, becoming very expensive very fast simply because of all the court costs and lawyer fees. Moreover, as long as the divorce has not been dubbed final, neither spouse is allowed to marry someone else. This can hinder one’s hopes of quickly moving on with their life.
What to Do Once You Know You’re Destined to Get Divorced
If your marriage has reached the point where it simply cannot be repaired and you know that divorce is unavoidable, there’s some things you can to make the process a lot easier on yourself. Of course, one of the first things you’ll want to do is contact a divorce lawyer.
It’s also important to go through the household files and make copies of important documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, and insurance policies so that you can have them for your own records. Remember that you’ll need the financial information of both you and your spouse.
Take inventory of household, noting things like furniture, cars, jewelry, and other valuables. This is also the time to start checking on your credit. Start paying off any debt owed and open credit card accounts, if you can, so as to establish your individual credit history.