Practical Preparations for a Divorce
Marital problems arise from issues such as communication, unresolved baggage from early days, unfulfilled expectations, resentfulness or in some cases, infidelity. Couples should try to at least resolve such issues among themselves.
If that fails, they should consider getting the help of a marriage therapist or a marriage counsellor. This is to say – divorce is a personal choice that should only be made after all other avenues of trying to salvage the marriage, have been exhausted.
When is the Right Time to Contemplate Divorce?
Ideally, divorce should be a clear, unemotional decision, that one can support over time. For a divorce to actually come about, the marriage must have already been “broken down irretrievably” and it is best if both sides are willing to let go.
That is to say, the crucial elements of a marriage such as trust and concern, shared interests, commitment to the marriage and common long-term goals are no longer present. One should not divorce just for trivial reasons such as dislike for the partner’s quirks and faults in general. Otherwise, the divorce can be emotionally very charged and can leave both parties scarred.
What Must you Prepare Before you Commence the Divorce?
Once the decision to divorce has been set, the most pertinent thing to do is to gather all the relevant paperwork together. The paperwork can include a recent independent valuation of all joint marital assets and liabilities (ie loans).
Other information you should have are bank account statements, copies of income tax returns and cheque ledgers that reflect the significant expenses paid for during the course of the marriage such as utilities and sundry expenses.
If there is a business, then find paper proof of tax records, assets and debts. The paperwork is important as it is the evidence on which the court decides to split the matrimonial assets. It is also taken into account in ancillary matters such as child maintenance.
It would be even better if both sides can come out with a proposed mortgage plan and parenting plan (if applicable) as it will expedite the legal process and minimize disputes.
When preparing the paperwork, it is important to meet up with a lawyer to get an estimate on how much the divorce hearing will cost and find out the likely outcome of the hearing. The divorce lawyer will be able to advice you on your rights during the divorce proceedings as well as what you should be asking for from the other side.
Plan for the future
Even though divorce may be a traumatic process that takes away all your energy, you have to keep one eye on the future. Once the lawyer has given his view of the probable judgment, you may want to seek a financial planner for post-divorce financial matters. You may find that you need a job or a place to stay.
Divorce is sometimes inevitable, but with proper planning and careful choices, the scars and emotions associated with divorce can be minimized significantly.
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- Hague Convention in Singapore: Overseas Child Abduction in Divorce
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