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Three tips for spouses involved in divorce

Divorce is a tricky time in life both legally and domestically. As the divorce rate rises to affect half of all marriages, so do the myths and urban legends associated with the law. If your marriage is beyond reconciliation, you are likely feeling uncertain about your life after divorce. There is a way forward to a positive life after divorce, but it is important to follow a reasonable path to get there.

Here are three tips for couples facing divorce:

1. Don't make sudden lifestyle changes

Michigan is a state that allows for 'no fault' divorce. This law means one spouse can file without the consent of the other. The spouse who files for divorce then may have a jump start to making changes in their life while the other is potentially underprepared.

Divorce provides the opportunity for a new beginning, but you shouldn't close the door on a marriage without making proper arrangements. It may be tempting to start a new lifestyle and live the way you would if you were still single, but this can complicate your financial obligations as a spouse and parental responsibilities to your children.

Rearranging assets or buying high-dollar gifts for others in an attempt to keep money from your spouse can lead to a court-ordered intervention of your bank accounts during or after your divorce proceedings. It is best to maintain a sense of normalcy in your lifestyle and financial habits as long as you are obligated to your spouse.

2. Asset division starts at 50/50

Division of assets and debt should start and 50/50. Other factors including your spouse's contribution to finances versus home life and ability to provide for themselves after the marriage should also be taken into consideration.

A simple way to avoid losing assets you value is to prioritize what you want to keep compared to what you are willing to give up.

3. Don't expect victory. Look for closure instead.

The goal should not be to 'win' your divorce. Instead, look for a clean break with a clear outline on the division of assets and custody of children. This process will take time, but it is worthwhile when looking for a fresh start after a divorce.

A personally attentive and communicative lawyer can help you make an arrangement that will allow you the renewed life you may be seeking.

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