A family lawyer has shown how best to deal with the aftermath of a broken marriage when you are a victim of “Divorce Day”.
The first Monday in January got the grim nickname because there are reports of a spike in breakups, with the stress of the Christmas and New Year celebrations being the last straw to rocky relationships.
Julian Hawkhead, Senior Partner at Stowe Family Law, explained to FEMAIL the best way to protect yourself legally and financially if you or your spouse are filing for a divorce.
If you are considering divorcing your partner, he suggests making a list of your debts and assets, as it can be a timely and costly process, and choosing the right lawyer who can flag up all of the options available to you .
If your spouse has told you they want to get a divorce, they advise you not to make any decisions and quickly find a family lawyer to inform you of your options.
Julian Hawkhead, Senior Partner at Stowe Family Law, explained to FEMAIL how to best protect yourself legally and financially during a divorce. Image from a picture agency
IF YOU ARE TRYING A DIVORCE
Look at the result
Divorce comes with legal and practical ramifications, including the formal dissolution of your marriage, a change in the rules for caring for your children, and the ability for the court to issue orders, with or without your consent, regarding your property, property and assets to meet income.
Divorce brings great upheaval. No one should ever think that divorce is just another piece of paper as the consequences can be lifelong.
Are you sure the marriage is over before you take another step down this path? Have you done all you can Did you seek advice from others or have you carried out professional relationship counseling?
Questions you need to answer
How much is the family home worth?
How Much Do You Owe on the Mortgage?
What bank accounts are there?
Are there other investments that you are interested in?
What are your pensions worth?
When was the last time you received bills for all of these assets?
Do you know how much you spend monthly on your daily living expenses?
Get your house in order
To get a financial statement, you need to be clear about what is there. So gather your records together to make a list of all your assets and debts.
You can spend so much time with lawyers on these hands-on assignments. Help yourself by doing your homework first.
Understand your options
Family lawyers are the most common point of gathering information.
Many companies have piled websites with information and content about the legal processes, but each case is different and has its own nuances. It is therefore important to speak to an expert about your circumstances.
However, speaking to an attorney does not mean that you will get into a lawsuit over your children or assets.
The vast majority of cases will be resolved amicably, and a good lawyer will flag all of the options available to you, including reaching an agreement through discussion, mediation, and other extrajudicial options.
A good lawyer will also understand how long it should take to close the case and how much it will cost you.
WHEN YOUR MARRIAGE TELLS YOU, YOU WANT A DIVORCE
Seek personal and professional advice
The news that your spouse is requesting a divorce may be out of the blue or you saw it coming.
In either case, there will be a sense of upheaval and uncertainty about the future, and you must not try to deal with this situation yourself. Seek advice from friends or family. Do some research on the internet.
Get professional advice from an attorney or divorce coach on the legal ramifications of divorce with a lawyer and the emotional impact of what happens to you.
The effects of divorce can be significant and affect your physical and mental health. You may need to seek advice from your family doctor.
The news that your spouse is requesting a divorce may be out of the blue or you saw it coming. In any case, there will be a feeling of upheaval and uncertainty about the future, and you must not try to cope with this situation yourself (archive image).
Stay alert and aware
First, find a family lawyer who can talk to you about your options. When you know what your options are, you know you haven’t lost control.
They can also provide other professional assistance to you, including psychotherapists, relationship counselors, and financial advisors.
It is natural to be suspicious of your spouse after they have announced their divorce.
You have probably planned this for a while and when the trust is completely gone all sorts of suspicions will crop up – have they been hiding assets? Will they try to get me out of a fair solution?
If you seek legal counsel again at this point, you will be able to determine where there is legitimate cause for concern and what steps can be taken to keep you safe.
My advice is not to panic and instead stay vigilant and aware. Make sure that you are proactive instead of just hoping that all will go well – or worse, deny that all of this is happening to you.
Avoid bringing the family into disputes
As I said, these are life changing events. So you need to take the time to make decisions and consult with counselors to fully understand the ramifications.
Relationship breakdowns have a far greater impact than just on the couple themselves. In the immediate line of fire are the children who, in the worst case, are used as farmers between the parents and damage relationships in the long term.
It also affects the larger family, grandparents and friends. Blood that they say is thicker than water, but try to avoid bringing it into your disputes.
Keep your focus on getting results
This is my advice to both parties.
If you continue to focus on what you want to achieve – fair financial settlement, child-centered arrangements that work best for them, and making sure they are on good terms with both parents – you won’t go far wrong do.
Second, it will not benefit either of you to take the blame and scoring path. It will only make divorce a longer and more expensive journey than it has to be.