We all know that the divorce rate is high. The divorce rate hovers just below fifty percent in the United States. In other words, nearly two out of four marriages will ultimately fail.
The statistics are no kinder when it comes to second marriages; the rate for failure in those marriages is even worse! Still, because divorce is a fact of life, knowing how to divorce your husband is important. This article will explore how to go about doing that in a way that makes the most sense for everyone.
The first thing you need to do is make sure this is the right decision for you. Barring abuse of any kind (you should get out of an abusive marriage immediately), after you’ve made your decision to divorce, you may not want to immediately tell your husband. Instead, live with your decision for a few months, if possible, to make sure you won’t have any regrets. Then, when you know it’s the right step on your life path, go out and find as much information as you can to educate and empower yourself about the divorce process itself. I recommend that you do this before you file for divorce.
One of the biggest mistakes I see as a divorce lawyer is when women wait until they just can’t stand it anymore and just want to leave immediately. This is almost always leads to a hotly contested divorce because those women do not have the benefit of time to learn about the process and about themselves and what they want for their future. Beginning a divorce out of anger leads to an angry divorce, and this is not always in everyone’s best interest. Usually, anger equals money in the lawyer’s pockets.
I suggest you start your divorce process by creating a Divorce Vision for yourself and assembling your Divorce Team, both of which I outline in my Divorganize video series. Then, you may need to retain a lawyer to get the process started.
If your husband agrees that a divorce is a good idea, you have no children, no complicated assets, and you can divorce amicably, you may not even need a lawyer. You may be able to settle your divorce quickly and quietly with a lawyer-mediator. If, however, you have children, or there is a significant imbalance of earning power in your family or you need alimony to get going in your next phase of life, or your husband is controlling and abusive, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer.
Prior to hiring a lawyer, think about your personal values and share those with prospective lawyers when you interview them.
But even before you begin to interview lawyers, I suggest you research all you can about the divorce process. I’ll bet you read every book and took every class you could find when you found out you were pregnant. Getting a divorce is no different. Find a learning tool that resonates with you.
Try the Divorganize video series and see if you like learning by watching videos. I think you’ll find it a friendly and non-threatening way to begin to understand the steps you need to follow to protect yourself and your children. The purpose of Divorganize is to teach you about the process of divorce and how to spot the issues that you will need to deal with in your specific situation.
Once you get a preliminary appreciation of the divorce process, your next step is to research your state’s laws to get some idea of the specific way your state approaches divorce. Divorce laws are different from state to state, so what worked for your girlfriend in New York or Texas may not have much to do with your state’s laws on divorce.
The next step before you file for divorce is to get your hands on all of your financial paperwork so you’ll have some idea of what’s in your marital estate and what you can expect. You may have assets or money or you may have a lot of debt – both will be split between you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse during the divorce. But you don’t know what
you have until you sit down and figure it out –without your husband’s help. This is one task that you’ll want to do on your own, since you won’t want to rely on his version of your finances.
Remember, marriage is about love, but divorce is, unfortunately, about money. Be smart. Be strategic. Get organized. You can do this.
Amanda DuBois is a Seattle Family Law Attorney with 20 years of experience helping women out of complicated marriages. She is a published author, a radio personality, and the developer of the Divorganize Divorce Support and Education Program, a 17 video series covering all aspects of Divorce Strategies for Women. If you live in the Seattle area, and need help from a great and caring Seattle Child Custody Attorney, contact Amanda at (206)547-1486.
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