When you hear the above term, you are likely to think of an unexpected visitor who hands you a stack of papers and disappears quickly. However, being served with divorce papers is only one of several different events revolving around the divorce process and documentation. To read about these events and the paperwork that often accompanies them, read on.
You and Your Spouse Are Separating
You can begin living apart, at least in most states, without needing to complete any paperwork but it's better to have a legal separation agreement in place. This type of agreement answers important questions like who will reside in the family home during the separation, who is responsible for paying the auto insurance, and who has custody of the children for the time being. Most of the provisions in the separation agreement are meant to span the time between one party moving out and the final decree of the divorce.
You Have Children That Are Under the Age of 18
It's vital that you work out an arrangement that covers all aspects of parenting during the separation period. You will need to agree on child custody and visitation, for example, when you divorce but you can get started on things by making an agreement that covers things temporarily. Ask your lawyer how to get temporary orders from the judge that deal with custody and visitation.
Get the Support You Need
You don't have to wait until the divorce is final to ask for and receive child support and spousal support. The judge will order child support based on the parent's income and the orders will become permanent. Spousal support can be temporary but can be extended if needed after the divorce by transitioning it into either rehabilitative or permanent spousal support.
Gain Financial Information
You should not wait until later to begin gathering financial documents, particularly if you expect your spouse to prevent you from accessing the documents you will need for the divorce. At the minimum, set aside copies of your tax returns for the last several years, bank statements, investment, savings account information, and any business-related statements.
Get a Retirement Boost
A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) allows the non-owning party to access their marital share of a spouse's 401(k) and other types of retirement accounts without having to pay the penalty for an early withdrawal. The QDRO process must be performed before the divorce is final and it can take time for the paperwork to go through.
To learn more about any of the above, speak to a divorce lawyer.
Hello. My name is Stephanie Laurel. I have recently been through a divorce, and although I don’t wish it on anyone, I do wish that everyone could come out of the proceedings feeling they have been taken care of. My husband and I had been married twenty-eight years. We have four children, two of which are still under eighteen years of age. We owned the home we lived in and had a vacation home in a different state. We are civilized people, we get along fairly well considering, but no matter how much we thought we could go through the divorce process without lawyers, it wasn't possible. We each hired a divorce attorney to represent us. Most of the negotiations went well, but when we hit a rough spot the attorneys took over. Thank goodness. I’m going to share more about the experience and hope it helps you.