When your marriage is ending, the changes taking place can make your life feel unpredictable. However, it’s possible to stay in control of your future and make sound decisions for your life after divorce. When planning for your divorce, there are important steps to take to ensure that your divorce agreement is the way you want it.
Prepare for Your Divorce
There are certain steps you can take to make the divorce process less stressful, to protect your interests, and to protect your children. Specifically, you can protect your financial situation by:
- Creating a list of marital assets. Marital assets include property that is acquired during the marriage or, in some cases, property that was brought to the marriage and used for the benefit of both spouses. For example, marital assets can include your family home, cars, stocks, bank accounts, artwork, and other possessions. Marital assets will be divided when you divorce.
- Creating a list of separate assets. ‘Separate property’ is property that one spouse owned before the marriage and belongs to that spouse even in a divorce. It will not be considered a marital asset to be divided. This could include a gift from a spouse’s relative or an inheritance left to just one spouse.
- Creating a list of marital debts. Marital debts, like marital assets, must be divided during a Virginia divorce. Marital debts may include your mortgage, car loans, and personal loans, and responsibility for them will be divided during a Virginia divorce. Any debt that is considered separate debt will remain the sole responsibility of the spouse that incurred that debt.
- Creating a file about your current financial situation. In addition to your assets and debts, your income is important. Documentation such as tax returns and W-2s for both you and your ex-spouse will help establish your level of income, and this may affect child support and spousal support payments.
You can protect your children and your relationship with your child by:
- Understanding how child custody is decided. Child custody will be decided based on what is in the best interests of your child. The court will consider the child’s relationship with both parents, each parent’s ability to care for the child, each parent’s willingness to support a relationship between the child and the other parent, any history of abuse, any criminal history, and any other factors that impact the well-being of your child.
- Understanding how child support is decided. Virginia has specific guidelines that determine how child support should be paid. You can prepare to pay or to receive child support payments when you understand how they will be calculated.
Talk to a Virginia Divorce Lawyer Before You File for Divorce
The divorce process can be extremely painful and difficult, and there’s a lot at stake. You need an attorney who will take the time to understand exactly what you want and how to best protect your interests. Stephen Bloomquest is the advocate you need. Whether you are beginning the divorce process or you have been served with divorce papers, please contact Stephen today by phone or through this website to schedule a consultation.