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Before You File: 5 Considerations to Make During a Divorce

The divorce lawyers at Bodie Law discuss things that should be taken into consideration before filing for divorce.

The potential end of a marriage can be such an emotionally charged situation that it’s often tempting to act in anger … and without thinking things through.  Stepping away from heated emotions to formulate a plan before filing can have a big impact on the outcome.  Here are a few things to consider:

1. Begin with the end in mind. Before filing, you need to understand the law, understand your rights, and most importantly, understand the outcome you’re hoping for.  It’s best to consult an experienced attorney as early in the process as possible to prevent missteps.

2. Understand the finances. Even if you are not the spouse who normally manages the family finances, it’s vital that you have a basic understanding of the financial circumstances (this is good advice in any marriage, not just those headed for divorce).  Gather as much information as possible so that you have an accurate reflection of the total income for both parties and all familial monthly obligations.

3. Know your cash flow.  If you intend to seek alimony and/or child support, be sure that you not only understand the larger financial picture but that you have detailed knowledge of your monthly income and expenses for yourself and a minor child.  This will be vital in determining monthly support amounts.

4. One becomes two. Consider the short-term and longer-term consequences of one household becoming two separate entities: another rent or mortgage to pay, utilities and other household costs, all on the same income that was supporting a single household. Will the family finances sustain separate living arrangements until a temporary support order can be established? This gets even more complicated if a spouse is unemployed or underemployed.

5. Insulate the kids. When minor children are involved, an effort should be made to reach an amicable decision that is in the best interest of the child(ren). This is assuming that no abuse or other dangerous circumstances are present.  Unfortunately, the custody issue is often used as a weapon by one spouse against the other.  The children caught in the middle are the ones who suffer most in these cases.  Be cognizant of the situation and put the needs of the children first.

If you have questions about preparing for a divorce filing, consult the divorce lawyers at Bodie Law in Towson, Maryland.