In the midst of serious relationship conflicts and family turmoil, looking ahead toward a calmer, brighter future can seem impossible. Yet doing so is essential to resolving your divorce in a sustainable way. You need a vision based on realistic expectations. A caring, qualified family law attorney can help you develop such a vision.
Too often, divorcing men and women underestimate the diverse impacts of this momentous life change. The costs of setting up two separate households suitable for children can be staggering. Balancing work and co-parenting is a huge challenge for many people. You must consider support obligations, tax implications, debts and dozens of other factors. Where do you begin?
What Matters Most to You?
For many mothers and fathers, the answer to this question is clear: Quality time and closeness with kids are top priorities. As an individual, or if your children are grown and independent, your primary focus is likely on your financial stability and prospects. Sitting down with an attorney who will explain relevant laws and your rights, listen intently and ask the right questions can help you gain clarity and find the best approach.
Strive for Informed, Practical Goal-Setting Early in the Process
When divorcing under any circumstances, here are some critical steps for realistic goal-setting:
- Form a clear picture of support you will be required to pay or can reasonably expect to receive. In Minnesota, child support is guideline-based but dependent on your specific custody arrangement and many other factors. Awards of spousal support are far from automatic and subject to complex negotiation.
- Be realistic about your ability to balance your career and parenting obligations. An experienced divorce lawyer can suggest many options for custody arrangements and parenting plans.
- Project a personal budget that fully accounts for future living expenses, income expectations and all debts and obligations you will carry out of your divorce.
- Decide where you are willing to compromise and where you must stand your ground. Negotiation and mediation are almost always better paths to resolution than an all-out, contested divorce. Giving in to unreasonable demands by your spouse, however, can be personally and financially devastating.
Avoiding Regrets and Future Legal Problems
You need to defend your own interests without escalating conflict unnecessarily. You don’t want to find yourself back in court soon after settling your divorce. Above all, you want to emerge from divorce in the best shape possible to move on with your life.
No one can anticipate all of the challenges that life after divorce will bring. But a knowledgeable divorce lawyer will help you think through likely scenarios and make educated decisions. Strategic divorce planning can make all the difference in the outcomes you ultimately achieve—and in your outlook as you start a new chapter in life.