5 Key Factors To Consider Before Filing for a Divorce

Author: Miod & Company
Date: March 1, 2022
Category: Family Law
Average Time Reading: 3 minutes

Finalizing a divorce can be a hectic process for both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Sometimes you want to sever the relationship as soon as possible, but it’s important to know what you’ll actually have to do before signing the papers.

Here are five factors you and your partner should consider before filing for a divorce:

Separation Options

What the divorce process looks like will vary from one couple to the next. Some couples will be able to negotiate between themselves and reach a solution fairly, whereas other couples may require some assistance to spare the arguing. 

Here’s what you should know about the possible routes for divorce:

  • Mediation
  • Separation Agreement
  • Contested Divorce

During a mediation, both spouses meet with a neutral third party, the mediator, to reach an agreeable solution. In this conversation, the mediator will cover issues such as child support, retirement, taxes, and distribution of assets.

separation agreement is designed to divide up your property, decide child support and/or alimony, and any other conflicts between the spouses. The settlement can be drafted before you file for divorce or even before you/the spouse moves out.

Lastly, a contested divorce is the most difficult as neither spouse can reach an agreement or compromise. This isn’t a disagreement over the divorce itself, but the nitty gritty details that’ll require someone else to make the contract.

No matter what route you take, you and the spouse will control how easy or frustrating this situation will be.

State Laws

Depending on the case, some are more lenient about your reasoning for getting a divorce, labeling it as an “irretrievable breakdown,” or a no fault divorce, whereas others may need more proof.

Here are the legally acceptable motivations for an “at-fault” divorce that fall under most California state laws:

  • Adultery
  • Cheating
  • Bigamy
  • Abandonment
  • Mental illness
  • Mental or physical abuse
  • Drug and/or alcohol addiction
  • Imprisonment or criminal conviction
  • Marriage between close relatives
  • Force or fraud of marriage
  • Impotence and/or mental incapacity at time of marriage

While these are the most common reasons, it’s important to get an outside opinion. In addition, you’ll need more than just suspicion of your spouse’s misconduct: you’re going to need to prove it.

Child Support and Custody Battles

One of the biggest issues in court is child custody. 

Divorce can upset your children, especially if spousal arguments are a daily activity in the home. It’s a good idea to exclude your kids from divorce talk, especially if you’re badmouthing your spouse. 

Your spouse is still their parent whether they have custody or not, and it can make your child uncomfortable to hear about your issues. 

In addition, usually the noncustodial parent will be required to pay child support. Depending on the state’s guidelines, what the parent is able to pay, and other factors, the payments are to support the basic needs of the child or children.

Child support payments are subject to change if the paying parent loses their job, gets a new job, moves houses, or any situation that impacts their ability to pay. These changes must be accepted by the court and require proof to proceed.

Property valuation

Dividing the assets and property is an important step of the separation process. The property valuation challenges during divorce can arise in any situation, but it’s usually more difficult with the more property owned by both spouses.

Many states call for an equal 50/50 split between assets, including the family home. Property valuation requires an accurate number that represents the amount of equity of the property.

Certain circumstances, such as house inheritances, can affect the division of equity. Many options exist to help you determine the correct figure during your divorce.

While many couples will want to go their separate ways as soon as possible, others may want to share the profit from the property’s appreciation. However, this requires a long-term financial investment in the other spouse and completing payments on time.

If your house is worth less than the mortgage amount left to pay or has no equity at all, you might need to visit other options. Selling the house and walking away is something to consider and can remove one spouse’s name before the divorce is filed.

Available Help

During a divorce, you want to make as little mistakes as possible. Hiring a professional accountant or an advisor can guide you on the right path. 

They can save you the time, money, and headaches that accompany the negotiations and possible court appearances. Not only will they provide information on state guidelines and how they apply to you, but also be willing to find the best option for you.

At Miod and Company, we are here to help!

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