Randi J. Vladimer, P.C.

What to do when seeking a divorce.

You have finally come to grips with the fact that you need to tell your spouse that you want a divorce. It is a big decision, but it is one that you have to make if you want a better life in the future.

While this conversation is difficult, you will feel better once it is in the past. You can then turn your attention to the future, which includes doing the following:

  • Talk to your children: If applicable, sit down with your children, and your spouse, to discuss your divorce. The approach you take depends on their age.
  • Get your house in order: Divorce will impact you in many ways, with your finances at the top of the list. Start by looking at our website on the How to Help Us Help You section. Try to gather all applicable documentation that is requested in that section both financial and with respect to your children, if you have any. 
  • Prepare for the divorce process: You will face one major decision after the next during your divorce. Select an attorney that you are comfortable with and have confidence in. If you are in therapy, speak to your therapist. If the children are in therapy, alert the therapist as to what will be occuring. This may be a long road ahead so prepare for all of the possibilities.

Your parenting plan can address custody, visitation concerns

As you move through the divorce process, it's critical to do your part in keeping a balanced and healthy living environment for your children. They're going through a difficult time, too, so don't leave them to figure things out on their own.

One of the most important things you'll do in your divorce is create a parenting plan. This outlines the legal rights and responsibilities of both parents, while also addressing a variety of key questions.

How to discuss divorce with your children

It's not the ideal situation, but you may come to the conclusion that divorce is the only way to regain control of your life.

While it's sure to impact you in many ways, from your emotional well-being to your finances, it'll have just as much impact on your children. And that's why you need to take special care of them during this difficult time.

How will divorce affect your financial future?

If you decide to divorce your spouse, you probably have a very good reason for doing so. It's not an easy decision, but it may be the best way to get your life back on track.

As you prepare for the divorce, turn some of your attention to the future. More specifically, focus on the impact of divorce on your financial future.

Prepare for divorce with an asset and debt division checklist

You'll take a variety of steps as you prepare for divorce. This should include the creation of an asset and debt division checklist.

With this guiding you, you'll have a clear idea of your current financial circumstances, the way divorce will impact your finances and how to best prepare for your life in the future.

What's the best way to ask for a divorce?

Even if you are 100 percent sure that you need a divorce in order to move on with the life you want, there is nothing simple about approaching this subject with your spouse.

Fortunately, when you have an idea of what you want to say, it is easier to get your point across and move past this difficult conversation. Here is what you should do:

  • Map out the conversation: There is no way of knowing exactly how things will unfold, but you should map out what you want to say and how you want to say it.
  • Be upfront: Do not hide your feelings or attempt to dance around the issue. Be upfront and clear about your concerns and intentions. You do not want to give your spouse the wrong idea, so stick with the facts.
  • Hear them out: You owe it to your spouse to hear them out, so let them talk for as long as they need.
  • Do not turn back: Your spouse may make a compelling case for staying together, but if you are sure you want to divorce it is not a good idea to backtrack. You have put a lot of time into making this decision, so stick with it.

Take caution when asking your spouse for a divorce

It sounds simple enough to ask your spouse for a divorce, but as you prepare for the process you will come to find that there are many challenges in your way. And if you do not take the right approach, you could make a mistake that results in additional stress and tension.

Here are three tips to implement when asking for a divorce:

  • Stick to the basics, for now: You are having this conversation for one reason only: To tell your spouse that you want a divorce. This is generally not the right time to talk about what this means, such as who will get custody of the children and who will keep the family home.
  • Safety first: If you have any reason to think that your spouse could become violent, you should not discuss your divorce in a private setting. It is best to do so over the phone or in a public place. Yes, this has its own challenges, but your safety should always come first.
  • Do not reconsider: You have thought long and hard about asking your spouse for a divorce, and it took a lot to get to this point. Don't go back now, even if your spouse tells you things will be different in the future.

Have you checked your prenuptial agreement for weaknesses?

When spouses decide that it is time to file for divorce, it is rarely a simple, quick process. However, couples who created prenuptial agreements typically enjoy less conflict and quicker resolution, provided that their agreements hold up to scrutiny. Prenuptial agreements with improper or inaccurate language often create more conflicts than they avoid, and may prolong the divorce process.

If you face divorce, your prenuptial agreement may help streamline the process and protect your priorities, as long as it is a valid agreement. If you are unclear about the agreement's validity, be sure to use high-quality legal resources and guidance as you need them. A strong divorce strategy builds on the existing terms of your agreement to ensure that your rights remain secure throughout the divorce process.

How will the law of Equitable Distribution affect a 401(k)?

Dividing your shared assets in a divorce can be one of the more contentious parts of the process. It is common for couples divorcing to not agree with what is fair in any given situation. The bigger the asset in question, the likelier it is for the couple to strongly disagree about what is reasonable or fair.

Retirement accounts, in particular, can be a source of contention at the end of a marriage. When one spouse is the sole owner of the retirement account, they may believe they are the only person with a legal claim to it. They may feel like their spouse has no right to claim any of the funds in a retirement account that they never contributed to.

Common issues regarding your home in a Pennsylvania divorce

For many couples considering the end of their marriage in Pennsylvania, the biggest concern will be what happens to their family home. The equity you have built in your home over the course of your marriage may represent a substantial amount of your total household income.

It may also be the biggest single asset that you have. It is only natural to want a fair share of those assets. There are certain issues that you should carefully consider before developing a strategy regarding the equity in your marital home.

Guidance From An Elite Team Of Attorneys

From skillful negotiation to aggressive litigation, we are ready to work for you. Our lawyers will work with you one-on-one to effectively and efficiently navigate the legal system. To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or call 610-975-9898.

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