EP 65: When should I file for divorce?

Episode 65 of the Divorce and Your Money Show discusses the five questions that you need to ask before filing for divorce.

 

There are both advantages and disadvantages of filing, particularly from a financial standpoint. They depend on how long you have been married and separated. Here are the five key considerations:

  • Can you save the marriage?
  • Are you emotionally ready?
  • Have you organized the key documents?
  • Do you have a divorce team in place?
  • Do you know which method you will use for your divorce?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is: Can you save the marriage? Or is it beyond that point? Have you have tried everything to solve the issue?

If you are completely certain, you will still need to consider this question: Are you emotionally ready to part ways with your spouse? You need to get in the right mindset before you take that step.

If the marriage cannot be saved, and you are emotionally prepared, it is now vital that you get organized. In fact, the very first episode of this show was about the importance of getting organized.

The checklist of ways to prepare can be found in my book, Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide. Or you can email me at shawn@divorceandyourmoney.com. Once you receive the list, you can collect those documents, and keep both hard and electronic copies of them for future reference.

 

Then you need  to get a divorce team in place. There are four people who are essential to your divorce team:

  • You are the most important member of your team: the captain.
  • The second person is a family law or divorce attorney. He or she will help you with your case, and take care of all the legal aspects of this process.
  • The third is a Certified Divorce Analyst, who will help you with this financial and legal transaction (i.e., divorce). He or she will help you with the financial aspects, and make sure you are making smart financial decisions.
  • Lastly, you need to have a therapist to help you with deal with emotional issues.

Get your team in the place as soon as you can.

Lastly, consider the route you want to take for your divorce. Litigation is not the only way to go for divorce; there are four others you can choose from: mediation, arbitration, collaboration, and DIY. There are individual episodes dedicated to all of these methods.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to starting the divorce process. Maybe you suspect your spouse of something financially fishy. If so, once you file for divorce, an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order (ATRO) or TRO will prevent them from making withdrawals or purchases outside of normal, everyday necessities.

There are also some reasons to delay filing for divorce. For instance, you may want to wait until your kids are older. Or maybe you cannot afford it yet. Or maybe you want to file a joint tax return.

Even more importantly, if you are nine years into the marriage, it is worth it to make it to ten years. After you are married for ten years, you are eligible for your spouse’s social security benefits.

Filing for divorce is a huge decision, and once it is inevitable, you need to start treating it as a business and financial transaction. Treat it rationally, not emotionally.

 

Key Learning Points:

  • Before you decide to file for divorce, there are five questions you need to ask yourself:
  • Can you save the marriage?
  • Are you emotionally ready?
  • Have you organized the key documents?
  • Do you have a divorce team in place?
  • Do you know which method you will use for your divorce?
  • There are both advantages and disadvantages to starting the divorce process.

 

Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. We hope the show helps you through one of the most difficult periods of your life. Shawn Leamon is also the author of Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide. One-on-one divorce-coaching services are available at www.divorceandyourmoney.com.

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