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What to Do Before Telling Your Spouse You’re Filing for Divorce

How to protect your best interests and reduce stress during an already emotional and challenging time

The decision to end a marriage is rarely an easy one and often comes after significant soul-searching and introspection. The divorce process can be both emotionally and financially stressful and may also involve time-consuming litigation. However, there are simple steps you can take before you even initiate the formal divorce process that can ease tensions and make the process as seamless as possible.

Divorces are rarely attributed to a single fight or one instance of marital strife. Rather, most couples experience a slow increase in discord over a long period of time. Marital conflicts often simmer and gradually build toward an eventual breaking point that leads to one or both spouses recognizing that a dissolution of marriage may be the most appropriate option. If you are experiencing these types of feelings and are considering divorce as an option, it is important to fully understand your legal rights before you take any concrete steps in that direction such as telling your spouse of your desire to separate.

A divorce implicates many different issues that must be dealt with, either through mediation or litigation, before a court grants a divorce. Before beginning the formal divorce process, it is extremely important to understand your individual financial status. During a divorce, marital assets including both real and personal property must be divided in an equitable manner. Equitable distribution does not mean that each spouse receives 50% of everything. The court considers many different factors to determine how property and debts should be distributed. By taking proactive steps prior to filing for divorce and providing notice to your spouse, you retain a sense of control and security over your future.

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is one of the primary areas that often contribute to conflicts between spouses. If you have children, you and your spouse must also reach agreements concerning child custody and support that protects the best interests of the child. Taking the time to research Tennessee laws regarding these issues and consult a knowledgeable attorney, you reduce the potential for unanticipated surprises during your divorce proceedings.

With decades of experience as a Franklin divorce attorney, I have the knowledge and skill you need to understand your options and make informed decisions for your future. I work hard to provide comprehensive and personalized representation in a compassionate environment. I understand how difficult the decision to divorce is and provide the resources and advice you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact my office, Judy A. Oxford, Attorney at Law, by phone at (615) 791-8511 or contact via email.