Divorce: Am I Ready?September 6, 2011 by: L. Hinkle
Are you ready for divorce?
Before you decide, have you considered the following:
- Have we tried everything to salvage this relationship? (Counseling, seeing someone at your church or synagogue, talking to family, talking it out?)
- Can you live with the consequences of starting the process of divorce? Are you financially able to survive the transition? Have you prepared yourself emotionally for the challenges you will face? Do you have a plan for where you will live and how you will get by? Have you spoken to an attorney about your legal options?
- Have you prepared your family and friends for the change ahead?
- Are you sure that this is a decision you are making for you, not based on what other people think you should want?
If your spouse has been abusive, you need to be particularly careful to prepare for the separation ahead by making a safety plan to protect you and your children. The most dangerous time in the cycle of abuse is when the abused partner attempts to leave. This does not mean you should not do it, just that you need to keep your safety at the top of your priority list and make a plan for an exit that includes professional help and safe places to go.
If your spouse is not abusive, but has a tendency to be dishonest or you fear they may be, it would be a good idea to gather up as much information about your shared finances as possible prior to letting them know that you are filing for divorce.
You also should see a lawyer privately BEFORE having “that conversation” so that you know what your options are and how to proceed. Even if you think you can work it out between you, a well written separation agreement is vital to protecting your interests in the long run. Many of our clients became our clients because they tried to download a separation agreement off the internet to save money and are now spending thousands to repair the damage of what they lost by not seeking appropriate legal counsel from the beginning. Negotiation and writing of a separation agreement can cost between $500-1000. Filing motions to fix what you messed up later (if it can even be done) will cost a lot more.
If you aren’t sure if you are ready, The Law Offices of Lynda Hinkle does offer free consultations in which there will be NO pressure to make the decision immediately. We can walk you through what your rights are and how to prepare, as well as how much money you are likely to need to save up to proceed. We encourage you to work it out if there is still love there….
But if you ARE ready, we’re ready to protect you.