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How do I prepare to divorce my husband?

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Making the decision to divorce is one of the hardest things many of us will ever have to deal with. The divorce process itself can be relatively straightforward or much more complicated, depending on your circumstances, but either way, being properly prepared will give you the best chance of a smooth and successful divorce.

In this blog, we cover how to prepare for divorce, including some of the most important divorce steps to consider. This should, hopefully, help you to get started with thinking about the issues you will need to navigate as part of the divorce process.

It should be noted that this blog is not intended as legal advice and is for educational purposes only. Should you need specific help with preparing for divorce, our divorce and separation experts will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

To speak to one of our team, please call one of our offices in Banbury, Bicester or Rugby, or simply fill out our enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Divorce checklist

When preparing for divorce, there are many different things to consider, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or forget things. The following checklist is intended to give a quick overview of some of the key points you should think about as part of your divorce preparation:

  • Seek expert legal advice – You should do this as early as possible to make sure you understand your rights, the legal process to end your marriage and all of the ways in which your divorce will impact your life and those of your loved ones.
  • Make sure you are safe – If you have experienced domestic abuse in your relationship, then your safety is very important to consider at this stage. There are various steps you can take, including securing court orders to make your spouse leave the family home and stay away from you. Again, expert advice is very important here.
  • Understand your financial entitlements – You will need to understand your and your spouse’s financial rights and find a fair way to divide your finances. This is covered in more detail below in the section ‘Preparing for decisions about property and finances’.
  • Update your Will – If you have a Will, it is likely to need updating to reflect your divorce. If you do not have a Will, it is essential to make one to ensure that your assets would go to the people you would intend if you were to pass away.
  • Consider what arrangements you would make for children – If you have children, you will need to think about where they will live and what time they will spend with each parent. This is covered in more detail below in the section ‘Preparing for decisions about children’.

Exactly how to prepare for divorce will depend on your unique circumstances, so please do get in touch with our team for personal support.

Preparing for decisions about property and finances

One of the most important parts of planning for divorce is understanding how it will affect your financial situation. You will need to think both about how your and your spouse’s finances will be separated in the long term, as well as how your immediate needs will be met.

An experienced family lawyer can advise you on what you and any children you have would be entitled to. Many people assume that a married couple’s combined assets will be split 50:50 on divorce but, in fact, things are usually more nuanced than that. Getting the right advice at an early stage can help you to set your expectations and give you the best chance of securing a fair division of assets.

As part of your divorce planning, you should work out all of your current financial commitments and how these might change as a result of your divorce. For example, would you be staying in the family home and, if so, how would any mortgage be covered? If you would need to move, what would the likely rent or mortgage payments be on your new home?

Understanding exactly how much money you will need is really important, especially if you have been relying on your spouse’s income. Conversely, if they have been relying on your income, you will need to make an estimate of their living costs and what, if any, financial support you might need to provide for them.

Preparing for decisions about children

If you have children, you will have to make some critical decisions about what will be in their best interests following your divorce. When preparing for divorce, you will need to think about where your children will live, what contact they will have with each parent and how their needs will be met. You will also need to think about what you are going to tell your children about the divorce.

It is now common for separated parents to have shared care of their children, meaning the children spend some time living with each parent on a regular basis. This might mean, for example, that they spend the week with one parent and weekends with the other parent, but many different types of shared care arrangements can be possible. The key thing is to remember that the goal is to give your children a stable, supportive environment that meets their needs.

Child maintenance will also need to be considered. There is a standard process for calculating child maintenance entitlements, but parents will often want to agree additional support, depending on the children’s specific needs.

Getting expert help can ensure you get the best arrangements for your children as part of your divorce planning, while also protecting your relationship with them.

Consult our divorce experts in Banbury, Bicester and Rugby

If you would like to speak to a solicitor with expertise in how to prepare for divorce, please get in touch with a member of our team.

We have offices in Banbury, Bicester and Rugby working with clients across Coventry and Warwickshire, the West Midlands, Oxfordshire and nationwide.