Knoxville Family Law Blog

Answer these questions before requesting a divorce

Asking your spouse for a divorce is one of the most difficult things you can do. Even if you know it's the right decision, it's hard to say what will come next.

To ensure that you're on the right track, you'll want to answer these questions before requesting a divorce:

  • Have you spoken with your spouse about your marital concerns and the best way to make things better?
  • Are you and your spouse on the same page in regards to expectations for the future?
  • Is there anything you can do at the present time to save your marriage, or has all been lost for one reason or another?
  • Do you have reason to believe that you will be happier without your spouse, or are you unsure if this would be the case?
  • Do you fully understand how your life will change after going through a divorce?

Let these child support modification tips be your guide

There could come a time when you are unable to make your child support payments in full. You hope this never happens, but you never know if your financial situation could change at some point in the future.

These child support modification tips can act as your guide if you find yourself facing this challenge:

  • Act fast. You don't want to wait around and hope that your situation gets better. You need to learn the laws in your state and then take action based on your findings.
  • Keep track of your change in circumstances. It's imperative that you are able to prove that you are no longer able to make your child support payments in full. Document everything!
  • Talk to the other parent about your hardship. Depending on your relationship, this person may agree to a child support modification for the time being. You might as well ask, as getting this person on your side will make it much easier to convince the court.
  • Keep up to the best of your ability. Even if you can't pay in full, do your best to keep up. You want to show the court that you are doing whatever you can to stay current.

Will I be eligible for spousal support after my divorce?

It is normal for people facing the prospect of divorce to have concerns over their post-divorce financial stability. You may have grave concerns over your financial situation after your divorce is final, but you could have a rightful claim to spousal support. It could be beneficial for you to explore how you may be able to seek this type of financial support. 

In some Tennessee divorces, there is great financial disparity between the two parties. One spouse may have stayed home to raise the children while the other went to school or had a successful career. If you earned less than your spouse for most of your marriage or you sacrificed your job for your spouse's, it is possible for you to claim spousal support.

Stepparent adoption: Know what you’re doing

As a stepparent, there may come a point when you think about adopting your spouse's child. While this sounds like a straightforward process, it's important to realize that there are some challenges that could stand in your way.

Above all else, remember this: Adopting a child as a stepparent is not the same as a more traditional adoption. For example, you are not required to partake in a home study.

What are the biggest financial mistakes during divorce?

When going through the divorce process, it can be a challenge to keep a bead on your finances. There's a lot going on around you, and getting off track is every bit as easy as it sounds.

Here are some of the biggest financial mistakes you can make during divorce:

  • Focusing on the family home and nothing else. Sure, you may want to stay put, but don't turn this into a make-or-break situation. You need to examine the pros and cons of staying and leaving
  • Forgetting to think long-term. It's easy to focus on what's best for you right now, but you need to be thinking about your future as well. The decisions you make during your divorce could impact you for the rest of your life.
  • Neglecting to create a budget. Now that you don't have another person's income, you need to create your own budget to ensure that you stay on track month after month. You should do this as soon as possible.
  • Looking at one piece of the divorce puzzle, and nothing else. For example, don't get so caught up in property division that you overlook the impact of child support and alimony on your finances.

A property division checklist is a game changer

There is no way to avoid the many challenges associated with the divorce process. Instead, the best thing you can do is attempt to alleviate some of the stress.

For instance, you know that property division can be a sticking point. While you want to secure as many assets as possible, you know that your ex-spouse feels the exact same way.

Questions to ask yourself if you're considering divorce

So lately, you've found your mind frequently drifting to the topic of divorce. Perhaps you're not even sure yet whether you want a divorce, but for one reason or another, the thought keeps popping into your head. Of course, nobody jumps headfirst into divorce without giving the matter a good deal of thought, but -- as an advisor points out -- while many people put a lot of effort into asking all the right questions before deciding to get married, few approach divorce with the same methodical line of thinking.

A big part of this is probably because, by the time you're considering ending your marriage, you're likely already under a good bit of stress and feeling rather emotional. It's hard to remain calm and systematic under such circumstances. However, advisors suggest that asking the right questions before divorcing typically proves worthwhile and could help you realize you'd like to work on your marriage. Even if you eventually still decide that splitting up is for the best, considering certain questions may help to make your divorce more amicable.

How do you financially prepare yourself for a divorce?

Once you decide that divorce is imminent, you'll want to turn your attention to the future. This means many things, including getting comfortable with the idea that you are now single. Along with this, you'll want to prepare yourself from a financial perspective as well.

The way you financially prepare for a divorce may not be the same as the next person, but there are a few things you can definitely do to help yourself out. Here are some tips:

  • Gather all the necessary documentation. From bank statements to life insurance policies, you need to gather anything and everything associated with your finances.
  • Meet with a professional. Could you benefit by meeting with a tax professional or financial advisor? If so, it's worth doing so as soon as possible.
  • Create a property division checklist. You need to know which type of property is subject to division, as well as what is not. Don't forget that your debts will be divided as well.
  • Open separate accounts. Now that divorce is on the way, you don't want to share your finances any longer. You need to open your own accounts as to protect yourself and to better prepare for the future.

Let a parenting agreement make your life easier

Going through a divorce can be a challenge, especially if you have at least one child with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

While you need to do what's right for you during this difficult time of your life, you should never lose sight of what's best for your child.

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