Deciding that you want a divorce is one of the biggest life decisions you can make. For some, it’s a painful time that’s full of disruption. For others, it’s a positive step leading to a more enjoyable future. Either way, there are a number of things to consider when you embark on divorce proceedings.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than the cure. Here we’re covering a few of the things you might want to think about, so you can be as prepared as possible.
Expert legal advice
It goes without saying that expert legal advice during your divorce is key to ensuring you get a fair and workable outcome. A good solicitor will consider the best route to take for your particular circumstances. Whether mediation is appropriate for example, and what a realistic outcome is when it comes to the finances.
It’s very easy at the start of your divorce (particularly if you believe it to be ‘amicable’) to think that legal advice is something you don’t need. But it’s important to remember that whilst any agreement you reach with your ex might work for you now, it might not work so well in the future. A solicitor will look at your situation and help you negotiate not only the short term, but also the long term arrangements too, leaving you to confidently look to a better future. They will also make sure it’s legally binding so your ex can’t come back and make financial claims against you in the future.
Where you’ll live
This is one of the biggest concerns clients have during a divorce.
Whether or not you stay in the family home will depend entirely on individual circumstances. Consider what you can do as well as what you want to do. For example, if you want to stay in the matrimonial home, will you be able to get a mortgage enabling you to do so? If you do get a mortgage, will you be able to manage your other expenses on top of the payments? Seeking the confidential advice of a financial or mortgage adviser is never a bad idea. Your solicitor will advise you about the best timing for this and what information would be helpful. They will ensure that you don’t reveal information that hinders negotiating the best possible outcome for you.
In some instances, it isn’t necessarily about the money. If that’s the case, think hard about where you’d like to be. Would a fresh start in a new home be good for you? Or do you crave the stability of somewhere familiar?
How will you help the children?
Whilst divorce is tough on everybody, it can be particularly tough on children. It’s worth taking time to think how you’ll tell them you’re separating, how you’re going to help them through it, and how you and your partner intend to co-parent (if you intend to co-parent) once everything is finalised.
Think ahead to special occasions. How will things work at Christmas for example? Or on birthdays or holidays abroad? If possible, try to plan for things like this sooner rather than later. That way you’ll know whether you and your ex are on the same page, and what you need to do if you’re not.
Bear in mind that your children might need additional support in order to cope with the change. Talking to school, the parents of their friends and even a mental health professional can really help to take some of the pressure off, and provide the guidance you need to get them through it.
How will you look after yourself?
We know it’s easy to talk about the importance of self care. It’s another thing to put it into practice. But there’s no doubt that looking after your own well-being during your divorce is critical.
Give yourself time to process the change and do any grieving you need to do for your relationship. Simple things like taking regular exercise, eating well and getting enough rest will go a long way to help you bounce back from divorce. Be sure to lean on friends and family for support where possible and perhaps consider professional counselling if things start to get too overwhelming.
At Harrogate Family Law, we pride ourselves on being a law firm that puts clients firmly at the centre. Our team has the expertise you can rely on during your divorce, so that you can concentrate on positively moving forward with your life. Contact us to put an expert legal team in your corner.