Filing divorce paperwork against your future ex-spouse doesn't necessary mark the end; it could carve out a bright, new beginning. While the road ahead won't come without its fair share of bumps and surprises, being well prepared helps to make the process bearable. Here are four crucial steps for making your DIY divorce as civil, amicable, and fair as possible.
Submitting Your Divorce Petition
In order to get the process moving along, you will need to formally submit your divorce petition in the appropriate court. Divorce petitions can be lengthy, but are generally easily navigable. After you have completely filled out your divorce petition, you will then need to ensure that your spouse is served with a certified copy.
Understanding Legal Separation
Legally married couples who intend to divorce must also file separation paperwork. Divorcing couples can continue to live together, but they must acknowledge that they are living their lives separately. Filing for separation enables divorcing couples to request financial support, which can be vital if the other party is not being cooperative. Legal separation is often the first required step in formally filing for divorce.
Division Of Marital Assets And Debts
All assets acquired during the course of a marriage are subject to division. What this means is that property, pensions, businesses, income and even inheritances can be divided between yourself and your spouse in the manner that the court deems appropriate. Disclosing all of your tangible assets and financial obligations early on in the process will help you to get a fair divorce settlement.
Transitioning Into A New Life
Many divorcees are able to anticipate the drastic lifestyle changes that often come as a result of divorce, but even the most well prepared parties need time to adjust to living independently again. Consider whether or not you will need to downsize in order to maintain your standard of living so that you can plan to move, sell property or look for better employment opportunities. Having a set budget will aid you in making major life decisions related to your divorce.
Signing On The Dotted Line
Until all involved parties have signed off, your divorce paperwork will not be final. The good news is that you can always amend your divorce petition and submit new supporting documentation if you feel that a modification would be beneficial. Once your divorce decree is final, you will have the freedom to take complete control over your life again.