Things All Parents Should Consider Before Divorce In Arizona
Our Mesa Family Law Lawyers Share 20 Tips To Assure That You Are Considering Getting Divorced From All Angles
Filing for divorce is a massive decision, especially if you still have children under 18 at home. Many parents enter divorce knowing they are about to litigate issues like property division, child support, child custody, and spousal maintenance, there are many other side effects of divorce they fail to keep in mind. Before making your choice, consider the following:
1. Divorce Is Expensive From The Onset
You may need to pay a significant portion of your legal fees up front, depending on your attorney’s pricing structure. You will also need to pay a filing fee for your petition or response, along with other court fees. You may need to move out of your home, so hiring movers and buying new furniture may be an expense you haven’t considered. You may also need to maintain insurance coverage and other payments for assets you no longer have access to.
2. You Should Prepare To Have Less Disposable Income
Don’t assume that downsizing your lifestyle after a divorce will automatically create more leeway in your budget. If your spouse worked, it may be difficult to adjust to a single earner lifestyle. If your spouse didn’t work, you may need to pay both child and spousal support after a divorce. These payments can represent a large portion of your monthly budget, and falling behind on them can have drastic consequences.
3. You May Need To Rejoin The Workforce, & Not Quite By Your Own Terms
Stay at home parents may not be able to afford to continue doing so after a divorce. You should review your finances carefully to determine if you will need to find employment outside of the home. If you don’t do this early on in the process, you may be rushed into finding a job. This could mean taking a job for which you are overqualified, or that isn’t conducive to your schedule.
4. You May Be Wrong About Your Assumption That You Will Receive Support Payments After a Divorce
Many wives simply assume they will be paid alimony after a divorce, and this may not be the case. Alimony is determined based on many factors, your gender not being one of them. You may receive less child support than you anticipated, not receive any alimony, or you could even end up being the one who is obligated to make support payments.
5. Your Kids May Resent You If You Initiate The Divorce
Even if you have a good reason to get a divorce, your kids may not see it that way. Your ex may even plant negative seeds in your children’s minds about how the divorce came to be. No matter where the fault lies, your children’s lives are about to be upended. Don’t expect your everything to go smoothly instantly.
6. Your Kids May Suffer Negative Psychological Effects, Despite How Well You Conduct Yourself During The Divorce
Many children feel that a divorce is their fault, or otherwise experience damage to their self esteem. Children of divorce are also more likely to engage in risky behavior. Researchers have also found that children of divorce are also more likely to doubt their own abilities. However, adult children of divorce (ACOD) often prefer to partner with other ACOD as they have similar childhood experiences.
7. Your Kids May Not Cooperate With The Custody Arrangement
Just because a judge ordered that your kids need to be in a certain place at a certain time doesn’t mean that they will automatically be cooperative. Your child may not want to come to your house when it is your turn for parenting time, or may not want to leave when it’s time to go back to the other parent’s home. Don’t be surprised if your child is reluctant to comply with court child custody orders.
8. Scheduling Will Play a Large Role In Your Life
Besides your own personal schedule and that of your children’s, you will also need to schedule pickups and drop offs for parenting time. Depending on your distance from your ex, how frequent visitation switches off, and other factors, you could be spending a significant amount of your free time driving to and from visitation.
9. You May Have Far Less Free Time Than Before Your Divorce
Many spouses assume they will have nothing but free time after a divorce. Becoming a single parent and a single earner head of household can actually result in far less free time for many parents. You may need to spend more of your free time scheduling, working extra hours, and otherwise addressing divorce issues.
10. Misplaced & Forgotten Objects Will Become a Common Occurrence
Children are children, and it is inevitable that they will sometimes forget items at each parent’s house. Sometimes it will be something optional like a favorite hat, but it can also be more important items like homework assignments or work uniforms. You can expect your children to feel frustrated when things like this happen, so be prepared.
11. Not Everyone Will Support Your Decision To Get a Divorce
Random drunk girls will hype you up during your goddess party, but friends and family members may not be as enthusiastic about your divorce. Those people may also not know when to keep their mouths shut. Some cultures encourage spouses to remain married unless circumstances are dire, and people from those cultures can’t help but express their opinions. Only you can decide if you should divorce or remain in your marriage. If they aren’t paying your bills, don’t pay them any mind.
12. Adjusting To Your New Lifestyle Will Be Difficult At First
It can be difficult to be away from your children, and you might even miss your spouse, no matter how much of trash they were during the marriage. Your feelings of loneliness will subside, and may even give way to enjoyment of your newfound freedom.
13. You May Feel Jealous If Your Spouse Finds a New Partner
Even if you and your ex didn’t have a passionate romantic relationship before the divorce, you may feel a tinge of envy if your ex moves on, especially if it’s before you do. Just remember that whoever that person is, they will always be inferior to you. Even if that isn’t true, it may help you through this stressful process.
14. You & Your Ex Will Need To Coordinate & Cooperate
If you have minor children, your divorce won’t be the last time you talk to your ex. Not only will you have to coordinate schedules, but healthy co parenting involves setting similar expectations and guidelines at each home. Creating a sense of normalcy between households can also make the transition smoother for your children.
15. You Might Be Walking On Eggshells At School Events & Social Gatherings
It is vital that you avoid badmouthing your ex around the wrong people, because this can be “parental alienation,” or damaging your children’s view of the other parent. Evidence of this can be used against you at future custody hearings, which will in turn affect how much child support is paid. Prepare yourself for awkward questions and comments, and try your best not to take them personally.
16. You May Struggle To Form Relationships With New Step Children
Even if you enter a relationship with new step children with enthusiasm, it may not be reciprocated. Be prepared for at least some reluctance, and enjoy the surprise if there isn’t any. Try to view their attitude from your own children’s perspective, and don’t force them to rush into a loving relationship with you.
17. Your Children May Resist Forming a Relationship With Your New Partner
Just as you may struggle bonding with new step children, your children may feel the same way about your new partner, as well as your ex’s new partner. Don’t introduce your children to everyone you go out with more than once, or even tell them too much about your dating life (but it might serve you well to inform your children when you do begin dating again.) Forcing your children to call your new partner “mommy” or “daddy” is behavior better suited for 90 Day Fiance and Love After Lockup than for life after your divorce.
18. Things Will Be Hard At First, But It Will Get Easier With Time
Adjusting once custody, support, and property division orders are in place can be difficult. The silver lining is that as you begin to adjust, things will likely only go up from here. In the meantime, you can turn to friends and family, a therapist or counselor, or even hobbies and the outdoors to cope with your new lifestyle. You will grow to appreciate the upsides of your new post-divorce life.
19. You Aren’t Alone In Your Experience
Approximately half of all marriages end in divorce, so you should never feel like you’re the only person in the world going through what you’re going through. You may want to reach out to friends and relatives who have gone through divorces, or even join local support groups.
20. Hiring An Arizona Divorce Attorney Can Be Beneficial, Even In The Most Amicable Divorces
Many spouses assume that if their divorce is uncontested, hiring attorneys is completely unnecessary. A Mesa family law attorney can make sure that assets are divided properly and fairly, and that all divorce agreements are drafted to accurately convey the spouse’s wishes. Modifying child support and custody orders can be difficult and expensive, so it is better to make sure they are done right the first time. An attorney may be necessary just to draft your QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) if you or your spouse have a retirement account.
Don’t assume that hiring an attorney is out of your budget. The experienced, professional attorneys at AZ Family Law Lawyers offer not competitive rates, but free initial consultations so you can decide if an attorney is worth the cost risk-free. We offer phone consultations and can be discreet for spouses who are still debating the decision, as well.