When going through a divorce, it is important to make informed decisions with your long-term best interests in mind. With the right approach and the right mindset, you can feel confident in both the process and the outcome, and you can minimize your stress along the way.
So, what can you do to help ensure that you achieve a desirable outcome? Here are 10 tips for making informed decisions during your divorce in Arizona:
Tip #1: Learn about the Issues You Will Need to Resolve
There are four main components to divorce in Arizona: (i) property division, (ii) alimony, (iii) child support, and (iv) child custody. However, each of these components can have several nuances, and how you address each of these nuances will depend on your own individual circumstances.
With this in mind, learning about the issues you will need to resolve is a good place to start. Our blog provides a wealth of information for spouses in Arizona who are contemplating divorce.
Tip #2: Learn about Mediation, Collaborative Law, and Litigation
There are also four main options for establishing the terms of your divorce: (i) negotiation, (ii) mediation, (iii) collaborative law, and (iv) litigation. If you and your spouse cannot come to terms on your own, mediation and collaborative law, do not involve going to court. They are both options that can help facilitate an amicable resolution. In some cases, litigation will become necessary, but this is generally a means of last resort.
Tip #3: Make a List of Your Marital Assets
In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, divorcing spouses must divide their marital assets based on equitable principles. To begin thinking about which assets you want to keep and those you are willing to part in, a good first step is to make a list of everything you own.
Keep in mind that not everything you own will necessarily qualify as marital property. If you or your spouse owned certain assets before your marriage, for example, these assets might not be on the table in your divorce.
Tip #4: Collect Your Financial Records
Both spouses are required to make financial disclosures at the outset of the divorce process. Your income will be a critical factor when calculating alimony and child support (if applicable). With this in mind, it can be helpful to collect copies of your financial records before you begin. Since joint debts are also subject to division, your mortgage, car loan, and credit card statements will be important sources of information for thinking about your overall distribution and post-divorce financial needs as well.
Tip #5: Apply Arizona’s Alimony and “Best Interests” Factors to Your Personal Circumstances
Under Arizona law, alimony awards and post-divorce parenting rights are both determined based upon lists of statutory factors. As you begin thinking about your needs and preferences, it will be helpful to keep these factors in mind. By focusing on the factors that will guide the outcome of your divorce, you can frame your thoughts in a way that will help facilitate productive discussions with your attorney and effective negotiations with your spouse.
Tip #6: Start Putting Your Priorities in Line
Neither spouse gets everything in a divorce, which means that both spouses need to prioritize their wants and needs. This is not an easy process, and it will be important for you to think carefully about what matters most to you in your divorce.
For example, are there assets that you definitely want to keep (such as a certain piece of artwork or memorabilia)? Do you want to try to stay in your family home? Or, are you most concerned with starting your new life with as little debt as possible? These are all worthy considerations, and you will need to take the time to decide what is most important to you.
Tip #7: Consider Your Spouse’s Priorities, Too
When thinking about your priorities, it is worth considering your spouse’s priorities too. This can help you anticipate potential areas of conflict and start thinking about possible means of resolution. For example, if you know that you will want alimony but suspect this is something your spouse will fight, you can talk to your Phoenix divorce lawyer about potential tax strategies and other options for making alimony a more attractive option.
Tip #8: Consider All of Your Options for an Amicable Result
Today, divorcing spouses in Arizona have more options than ever for finding creative solutions to challenging problems. If you have an idea that you think might work, at this point, nothing should be off of the table. You may want to consider options such as co-parenting. You and your attorney can formulate a strategy focused on achieving your desired rights with as much efficiency and as little conflict as possible.
Tip #9: Check Your Emotions at the Door, and Seek Help if Necessary
Getting divorced is inherently an emotional process; but, when it comes to negotiating the terms of your divorce. It would help if you made rational decisions, and this means focusing on the practicalities of the circumstances at hand.
At the same time, however, this does not mean that you should bury your emotions. If you are struggling with your current circumstances, you should consider talking to a therapist or counselor.
Tip #10: Rely on the Advice of Experienced Professionals
When going through a divorce, you need to rely on the advice of experienced professionals. This means consulting with an attorney, but it may also mean talking to your financial advisor, social workers, and others. As you move forward, your attorney can recommend people who can help, and you can seek advice as necessary so that you feel certain you are choosing the best path forward.
Schedule a Free Consultation at Weingart Family Law
If you are considering a divorce and would like to speak with an attorney about what you can do to prepare, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix divorce attorney at Weingart Family Law, please call 480-542-0099 or contact us online today.