You have decided that the marriage is over and there is no chance of any reconciliation at all.
You think about divorce but you are not sure about where to start, who to talk to and what to do. Here are some practical tips and pointers from a divorce lawyer about some non-legal but important matters to bear in mind:
Do always take legal advice before taking any concrete steps. Going down the wrong road or doing the wrong thing at the beginning will store up more trouble for you.
Do continue to talk reasonably and sensibly to the other party. If you can only talk via third parties or lawyers, then the divorce could be far more expensive and protracted.
Do maintain the status quo at home and about financial matters. This provides some stability as you go forward with divorce. The atmosphere is probably tense enough already so it is best not to increase tensions or any acrimony by for example suddenly stopping payment of bills or spending money like water on frivolous things.
Do be reasonable with the other party, if he or she has already left the home, about a collection of personal belongings or access to the children. These matters can often cause significant arguments and emotional trauma to BOTH parties if not handled sensitively.
Do attempt family mediation to resolve differences. There are many peripheral and practical things the parties can discuss and resolve without the need for lawyers.
Do make a new will, think about beneficiaries under your pension funds or the appointment of guardians to look after any minor children.
Do sever the joint ownership of the property if both your names are on the house title deeds. This will give you the right to pass a proportion of that property to your beneficiaries in the will.
Do keep a brief diary of events in case you need to refer to them in the future when instructing a lawyer.
Do compile a spreadsheet setting out your income, expenses, assets (including pensions) and liabilities. This will give you an overview of your finances and will assist your lawyer in giving you advice. Last but definitely not least, if you have children, do put their interests first in all you do and discuss with the other party. The courts certainly consider the children’s interest the most important matter to be considered.
These are just a few things to consider if you are contemplating getting a divorce.
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