Like most people, you have likely heard the statistics on divorce in the United States. No matter how common divorce may be at this point, however, the emotional and financial impact it has on the parties has not changed. The decision to end a marriage is not something to be taken lightly. The divorce process that follows is rarely simple, On the contrary, it can be extremely complicated and contentious. There is no way to make a divorce easy; however, if divorce is in your future you may find the following tips from a divorce attorney helpful.
- Never act on impulse. This is often easier said than done; however, it is worth saying. Marriage can be difficult and all marriages have their rough spots. You are the only person who can decide when it is time to end your marriage. Do not, however, make that decision in the heat of anger or without giving the matter sufficient thought. Once the divorce process gets underway it can take on a life of its own, making it much harder to stop than to start sometimes.
- Consult a divorce attorney before you file or immediately upon being served. Your divorce is not something you want to try and “DIY.” The issues involved in a divorce can be very complex and the way in which they are resolved will impact your entire family for a very long time. Moreover, no two divorces are the same, meaning you cannot depend on how things worked out in someone else’s divorce for advice or guidance. There simply is no substitute for knowledgeable legal advice from a licensed divorce attorney.
- Do not move, hide, or spend assets in anticipation of filing for divorce. Hiding assets or spending all the money in your joint account is a common mistake people make when they know they are going to file for divorce, keeping it out of the division of marital property being the goal. This frequently comes back to haunt them down the road though. Always talk to your attorney before moving, spending, selling or otherwise disposing of any marital assets just before, or just after, filing for divorce or being served with a Complaint for divorce.
- Be aware of the time to answer the Complaint if served with divorce papers. Being served with a Complaint for divorce can have a devastating emotional impact on you, particularly if you were not expecting it. Some people react with anger while others become depressed. Make sure that whatever your reaction is you note the time you have to file a written Answer to the Complaint and do so within the allotted time frame. Failing to respond waives your right to participate in the process and in the outcome of the divorce.
- Determine your priorities. You may not want to hear this, but you are not likely to get everything you want out of the divorce. Instead of spreading yourself thin fighting for everything possible, decide what is most important and expend your time, energy, and financial resources on those things.
- Leave emotion out of negotiations. This may be extremely difficult to do; however, you will be much happier down the road if you can do so. Most divorces that drag on for years and end up in a trial could have been resolved had the parties left the emotions out of the process. You may have every right and reason to be furious with your soon-to-be ex-spouse; however, ask yourself if you really think spending all your time and money on litigation will change how you feel.
- Remember that divorce affects everyone involved. You have likely heard this, but it bears repeating – your divorce will impact your children as much, if not more, than it will you. A contentious and drawn out divorce will make the entire thing worse for your children. At least enter into settlement negotiations with an open mind for their sake, if not for your own.
Contact a Tennessee Divorce Attorney
If you are involved in the divorce in the State of Tennessee, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Tennessee divorce lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.