Jacksonville Divorce Lawyers
10 Things to Consider Before Filing a Florida Divorce
Divorce is a big step. Whether you have been married a short time, or it has been decades since you walked down the aisle, it’s important to approach divorce with caution and a cool head. As Jacksonville divorce lawyers, we are here to help and support our clients every step of the way. Divorce may be difficult, but there are ways to make the process of ending your marriage unfold more smoothly. Before you file, here are a few things to consider.
1. Would Counseling Help?
All marriages go through rocky times. Before you decide to file, consider whether counseling could help you and your spouse work through your differences. According to psychology experts, marriage counseling is most effective when both spouses are genuinely committed to getting the most out of the sessions. Many mental health experts also recommend going to counseling alone, regardless of whether your spouse agrees to participate. Even if your spouse is the primary reason the marriage broke down, counseling can be incredibly helpful when you’re going through a divorce.
2. Your Finances
Both spouses have a right to get a complete picture of their finances. In fact, the law requires all divorcing couples to exchange financial details with each other. If you’re considering divorce, it’s a good idea to make copies of your financial documents, including bank account statements, retirement account information, and any debts you may have. Having these documents in hand can help your lawyer work more quickly in your case.
3. Custody Arrangements for Your Children
Whenever possible, it’s ideal to work out custody and visitation issues with your spouse in an amicable way. If you leave it up to the court to decide, you may not be happy with the result. More importantly, cooperating with your spouse will go a long way toward making the divorce process as painless as possible for your kids.
4. Future Finances
Will you need alimony? Is alimony even available? These are important questions to consider, and it’s a good idea to start planning before you even file. Your lawyer can explain your alimony options and help you determine how much you’re likely to receive or be required to pay.
5. Who Will Keep the House?
For many couples, the family home is their most significant asset. Deciding what to do with it is a major decision in the divorce. Will one spouse keep it? Can one of you even afford to maintain it and pay the mortgage on one income? Alternatively, you may decide to sell it and split the proceeds of the sale. There are many options; your lawyer can help you choose the one that works best for you.
6. Surround Yourself with Supportive People
Not everyone has a positive attitude about divorce. In some cases, a person’s opinion toward divorce has been shaped by a bad experience in the past, or perhaps a childhood tainted by memories of divorce. These feelings are understandable, but they can drag you down when you’re trying to get through your own divorce in a positive frame of mind. Seek out a support network that helps you feel confident and hopeful about the future.
7. Who Will Pay the Debts?
The division of assets is an important component in any divorce, but it’s also important to consider how you and your spouse will divide your debts.
8. Will You Need to Go Back to School?
If you stayed home to raise children or look after the home, you may need some time to bring your skills up to speed before reentering the workforce or entering it for the first time. Fortunately, the courts have authority to award alimony to support you financially while you pursue education or skills training.
9. Health Insurance
If you relied on your spouse’s employer for health insurance coverage, it’s important to begin planning for a transition to your own health care coverage.
10. Talk to a Florida Divorce Lawyer
Once you are ready to begin the divorce process, your Florida divorce lawyer can guide you through the filing requirements and what to expect at every stage of your case.
Talk to Our Jacksonville Divorce Lawyers Today
Are you ready to begin your divorce case? Call Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton PA today to get started on a path to a brighter future.