Did you know that divorce is the second-most stressful life event next to the death of a spouse? One of the ways to alleviate that stress is to prepare yourself for the process. Preparation can vary from person to person, depending on finances and if children are involved along with other factors. The following 5 tips can help you prepare and stay informed throughout your divorce.
1. Collect and Organize all Documents
Searching for scattered documents around your home can feel stressful, especially when you have a lot of paperwork to prepare. Get the process started by organizing documents such as tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, and more. Not only will collecting and organizing these documents keep you ahead of the game, but it can also help you save money. If your documents come into an attorney’s office in disarray, you might be footing the bill to get these documents organized and in order.
2. Know Your Types of Divorce
In the state of Massachusetts, there are several types of divorce. The type that you choose depends on a variety of circumstances.
Here in MA, divorce is filed as “fault” or “no fault” which can be contested or uncontested. This is a quick snapshot of the details of divorce types:
● Contested or uncontested: Contested means that one person disagrees with the terms of the divorce, while uncontested means that both parties agree.
● Fault or no fault: There are 7 reasons for “fault” and a reason for “no fault”. Fault means that one person is responsible for causing the marriage to end. Many divorces are filed as no fault, meaning that the marriage is broken beyond repair with neither spouse blaming each other. In Massachusetts, a no fault divorce is called an irretrievable breakdown of marriage.
● Fault: This is when a spouse is responsible for divorce ending such as non-support, adultery, gross and confirmed habits of intoxication, desertion, and more.
3. Think About the Issues that are Decided in Divorce
You have a lot to think about as you go through a divorce. There are many issues that need decided on, such as:
● Custody and support of children
● Division assets such as bank accounts, stocks, and assets.
● Division of personal property such as furniture.
● Division of debts.
● Who, if anyone, gets to live in the marital home.
● A potential order of protection due to abuse.
If parties cannot agree on these issues, a judge gets to decide based on the evidence presented.
4. You’ll Wait At Least 90 Days
Divorce is not a quick process. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, divorce is placed on a 15-month track assignment by the court. This means that the court anticipates it taking roughly 15 months to finalize if the matter goes to Trial.
After Judgement, there is a 90 day waiting period before the Divorce becomes final.
No matter the length of time it takes for your divorce to finalize, be sure to refrain from certain behaviors during this time period. Seek the advice of a divorce attorney before you begin dating if your divorce is not yet finalized. You’ll also want to keep your finances in order and don’t do anything that can potentially be used against you in divorce proceedings.
Lastly, don’t forget to consult a divorce attorney to guide you through the process. While friends and family may try to offer advice during your divorce, remember that their divorce experience is unique and so is yours.
5. Consider Seeing a Therapist
Divorce takes an emotional toll on both spouses. If children are involved, it can make the process of dealing with divorce feel even more complicated. It’s not uncommon to go through a range of emotions and even bouts of depression during divorce. After all, it’s one of life’s most stressful events.
Don’t dismiss the possibility of seeking the help of a therapist. He or she can provide extra emotional support that you can’t get elsewhere.
Free Consultation from Divorce Attorney
In the long and often confusing process of divorce, you need a divorce attorney you can trust to guide you through the process. Attorney Moors has 15 years of experience working with divorce and works to be part of your solution---not part of the problem. Contact her today for a free consultation.