Getting a divorce may seem like the start of a new life, but it’s important you consider every angle before signing the final divorce decree.
The last thing you want is to end up in a more difficult situation than you’re in with your husband or wife. Sometimes getting out of a marriage turns out to be the wrong decision. In fact, one study showed that 22% of divorcees regretted their decision.
In addition to ensuring this is the best move for your relationship, you also need to make sure all the terms of your divorce are reasonable. A divorce decree isn’t an open and shut deal. There are many components you need to consider.
To help you out, we’re going over some common questions you need to ask before signing your divorce decree. These questions will help bring some clarity to the situation.
Is the Marriage Really Over?
The most important question to ask is if the marriage has truly run its course. Sometimes couples divorce as a result of years of struggle and emotional separation. They feel divorcing is their only option.
It’s important you and your spouse discuss this thoroughly. You have to be open about your feelings in order to avoid going through with the divorce only to regret it.
If you’ve hit a rough patch you can’t seem to get over, have you considered couples therapy? You may be able to resolve some of the issues you’ve been having and get things back on track again.
Divorce is a major life change. There will be financial hurdles, emotional hardships and learning how to live on your own again. It’s important you and your spouse are 100% certain that the relationship needs to end before signing the divorce decree.
Are You or Your Spouse Only Threatening Divorce?
Sometimes a person threatens separation or divorce out of anger or emotional pain. They may even use the threat as a tactic to get what they want.
This threat is also used to exert dominance over the other spouse or as an attempt to be taken seriously.
For whatever reason, this not the correct course of action. A marriage should end because both parties know in their hearts it shouldn’t go on.
Ask yourself if you genuinely want a divorce or are just threatening it to get what you want. Or, do you feel your spouse is doing this?
If the answer is yes, you should first look into marriage counseling. You may find more healthy ways to resolve your issues.
Are the Division of Assets Fair?
Before signing a divorce decree, you need to make sure all assets are divided equally and to your satisfaction.
This is something that many couples run into problems with. If the division of assets aren’t nailed down before the divorce gets finalized, there could be trouble down the road.
You’ll want to make sure your divorce attorney gets involved in the separation of assets to ensure you’re not getting taken advantage of. Each state has different laws regarding this. However, laws that apply to the distribution of marital assets don’t always garner a fair outcome.
Vehicles and property are two items that typically cause the most problems. If possible, try to come to an amicable decision regarding these assets and make sure the terms are clearly written into the divorce agreement.
Once you sign the decree, the terms are difficult to change.
Are Our Children’s Best Interest’s in Mind?
One of the most sensitive aspects of a divorce involves children. Depending on their age, this could be a very confusing time for your kids. You need to make sure you have their best interests in mind.
Unfortunately, sometimes couples are so angry with each other, they forget how impactful this time is for the children.
If you and your spouse are sharing custody of your kids, make sure the terms make it easy on them. They need to have ample time with each of you, so make sure your decree sets a fair and logical schedule.
You also need to nail down the financial obligations now so that no conflicts happen in the future.
It’s important you also work around you and your spouse’s work schedules so that the practice of joint custody goes as smoothly as possible. Not only will your children benefit, you’ll make it easier on yourself as well.
Are Your Finances In Good Shape?
At the beginning of a divorce proceeding, the judge will likely prohibit both of you from selling the marital property. You also can’t use joint bank accounts or credit cards for major purchases.
Judges do this so that one spouse won’t take advantage of money or assets that are still jointly owned.
If you or your spouse have any major purchases or legitimate financial transactions to complete, you’ll need to do this before the divorce happens.
It’s best to go over all these things with your spouse and come to an agreement on all financial matters. Once you both sign the divorce decree, you can then split your finances, meaning all checking and savings accounts and any credit cards you have together.
You’ll also need to agree upon the resolution of any debt you’ve acquired together.
What Will Your Living Situation Be?
It’s important you decide what the initial living situation will be before signing the decree.
Who’s staying in the house? Who’s moving out and where are they moving?
You need to make sure the decree is fair to both parties. The person who must move needs to be able to afford a new residence. This is especially important if children are involved.
Making sure this all gets squared away before signing the decree ensures you avoid a messy situation and potential conflict.
Don’t Sign A Divorce Decree Until You’re Ready
If you’ve come to the conclusion that divorce is the only option, it’s imperative you understand the terms of the decree. You also need to ensure they are fair and balanced.
Signing the decree hastily could mean serious issues down the road.
If you need a qualified divorce lawyer to help you through the process, we can help. Contact us today.