How Should My Spouse and I Prepare for Divorce?
Making the decision to separate or divorce your spouse is one of the most serious choices a couple can make. Not only can this process be emotional, but it can also be stressful and complicated. Keep reading for advice from our expert family attorneys at Schipani, Norman & McLain, P.A..
Communicate Your Thoughts to Your Spouse
There are plenty of reasons why a couple may consider divorcing. If it feels as though your marriage simply isn’t working, sit down and talk through your thoughts with your spouse. There’s a chance that they may understand what you’re feeling, but even if they don’t, having an honest conversation gives you the chance to decide if divorce is the best option.
If you’ve already discussed the idea of divorce with your significant other, and have decided to look into the process of legally separating, make sure that you begin to discuss your expectations after you’ve separated. You can use this time to start talking about assets and child custody agreements to avoid any surprises when your paperwork is finalized.
Additionally, if you have children with your significant other, you should consider sitting them down and explaining to them what is going on, so that they don’t feel upset, scared, or left out of the conversation. No matter how stressful thinking of divorce is for you and your spouse, chances are, it’s even more stressful for your child.
Discuss Your Assets
If you’ve both come to terms and agreed that your marriage is over, you may want to begin talking about your marital assets. In the state of Florida, marital property is to be divided in a fair, equitable way — though this does not mean evenly. Additionally, all non-marital property is to remain in possession of each spouse individually.
Under Florida law, marital property can include the following:
- Professional practices
- Stock accounts
- Offshore bank accounts
- Hidden assets
- Stock options and executive compensation
- Deferred compensation
- Wine collections
- Art collections
- Antiques and collectibles
- Retirement accounts
- Real estate — including the marital residence, vacation homes, and rental property
Additionally, dividing marital property and debt in a high net-worth divorce can require more consideration. If you and your spouse have a combined net-worth that exceeds $1 million in liquid assets, your divorce is considered a high net-worth divorce.
Gather Important Documents
In order to move forward in your divorce proceedings, you’ll need to start gathering some important financial documents to begin the filing process. The following are just some of the documents you should take time to locate:
- Tax returns
- Income statements and information
- Retirement documents
- Appraisals for any property your jointly own
- Insurance paperwork
Seek Out Legal Advice
The divorce process can be a difficult and emotionally taxing time in any couple’s life. If you do decide to proceed with a divorce, you should consult with an experienced divorce attorney so that they can help guide you. An attorney can help communicate between you and your significant other, as well as inform you what documents you’ll need, help sort out child custody, child support, and alimony payments, as well any complications that arise.
Divorce Attorneys in Sarasota, FL
One of the most frightening aspects of a divorce is putting your future in the hands of the court. Fortunately, there is an alternative to this: collaborative divorce. At Schipani, Norman & McLain, P.A., we can represent you in your divorce, advocating for the resolution that protects your best interests. With us on your side, you can remain in control of the process and your future.
Contact our team today to set up a consultation: (941) 499-8154