Top 10 divorce tips
If you are getting a divorce, and you are unsure what to expect or who to turn to, Rosemary Sharp from Lester Aldridge’s Family Law team provides the following advice for divorce.
- Get advice on your divorce early
Getting professional advice early on is the best way to prepare for the future and understand what to expect over the coming months. While it can be tempting to speak to friends and family about their divorce experiences, try to remember that there isn’t a one size fits all solution and everyone’s situation is different. What happened in your friend’s divorce may be different to your own, but a professional can give you practical, sensible advice about what you need to do.
- Don’t worry about asking silly questions
There really are no silly questions when it comes to divorce. For many people this will not be something they ever planned on happening and for many it will not be something they have gone through before. So ask whatever is on your mind.
- Don’t move out of the family home without legal advice
It is essential to get legal advice before moving out of the family home. While moving out doesn’t reduce or extinguish your interest in the property, tactically and practically it may not be the best move.
- Don’t worry if you’re not the main breadwinner
Many people panic that they will be ‘cut off’ or unable to afford to live if they get divorced and they aren’t the main earner in the partnership. But this isn’t the case and the legal process is designed to offer a fair financial settlement to both parties.
- Be conscious of costs
It is important that you use your solicitor and spend your money in the best way. Solicitors are best placed to advise you about legal issues and it may be that a friend or family member will be better placed to provide a cup of tea and a listening ear to the complaints and grumbles about your spouse.
- Don’t be afraid to get support
There is a lot of support available to divorcing spouses including counsellors, therapists, and financial advisors. Your solicitor can sign post the most appropriate people to you so that you can build up a support network during this time.
- Keep an open mind about potential outcomes for the future
You may not know at the beginning of your divorce what the outcome will be. Or you may have a very clear idea about what you want the outcome to be. Keep an open mind about possible options for the future as the proceedings progress, particularly if your spouse’s financial disclosure contains unexpected information.
- Don’t be tempted to try and hide your assets
The divorce procedure includes financial disclosure and both parties have a legal obligation to provide full and frank information about their finances. The family court also has wide ranging powers when it comes to financial outcomes and takes a very dim view of anyone trying to hide assets in a divorce.
- Don’t discuss the proceedings or negotiations with third parties or your children
It will be tempting to discuss your divorce with third parties including your children. However, divorce proceedings are generally private which means that neither party should discuss the details of proceedings with anyone other than their legal team – again this is different to getting some tea and sympathy from a friend.
Minor children should also be shielded from the proceedings as much as possible and it is always best if both parties can sit down together with their children at the start of the separation to present a united front and reassure children who may be unsettled by their parents separating.
- Understand what you’re committing to before you get married
It is important to understand the financial rights and responsibilities that come with marriage. It is often useful to obtain legal advice about this before marriage and consider whether a prenuptial agreement would be appropriate. Maybe one to think about if you get married again!