Knoxville Family Law Blog

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.

How do you tell your spouse you want a divorce?

Even if you are stuck in a bad marriage, you know that it can be a challenge to tell your spouse you want a divorce. There is something about having this conversation that is sure to make you nervous.

If you find that you have no other option, it's best to prepare for everything that could happen during the conversation. Here are a few tips that will put you in better position:

  • Time it out. You don't want to blurt out that you want a divorce when eating a family dinner or while you're driving your child to school. You need to set aside time for this conversation, as it's sure to be one of the most important you ever have.
  • Know what you want to say. Don't be surprised if you find yourself at a loss for words. You need to have a clear idea of what you want to say, so that you don't get stuck along the way.
  • Get to the point. You can dodge the subject for as long as you want, but this doesn't help anyone. You should get right to the point when the time comes.

Tennessee requires waiting period for no fault divorce

Whether your marriage has been barely hanging on for months (or longer) or a cataclysmic event brought it to an abrupt end, navigating the process of divorce can be quite daunting. Perhaps you and your spouse are on good enough speaking terms that you both agree you want to sever your ties as swiftly and painlessly as possible. That's all well and good except for the fact that Tennessee law requires an extended waiting period before you can finalize a no fault divorce if you do not have an agreement with your spouse.

Divorce laws vary by state, and in this state, the requirements may be different depending on whether you have minor children and whether you agree on all issues. For instance, if you don't have minor children, and can't agree on the terms of your divorce, then in order to do a no fault divorce you will have to live separately for two full and consecutive years before you can get divorced. In contrast, if you have no minor children and reach an agreement on all issues, the waiting period is only 60 days for a no fault divorce. 

Will you divide credit card debt in divorce?

As you move through the divorce process one small step at a time, it's only natural to turn your attention to property division at some point. You want to know that you are getting what is rightfully yours in regards to assets.

But here's something else to remember: You may need to divide debt during divorce. Credit card debt is one such example of this.

Do these things to prepare for adoption

There is no denying the fact that moving forward with adoption is sure to change your life in a number of ways. While this is something you are looking forward to, it's important that you know exactly what you should and shouldn't be doing as the big day closes in.

Here are some of the many things you can do to prepare for adoption:

  • Contact your health insurance company to ensure that your child begins to receive coverage on the appropriate date
  • Obtain a copy of your child's birth certificate, as this is something you will probably need in the future
  • Prepare your home for your child's arrival, such as by making it child-friendly
  • Talk to any other children you may have about the changes to expect in the days, weeks and months to come
  • Learn more about any state or federal adoption benefits that may be available to you

There are many early warning signs of divorce

While you hope your marriage lasts forever, there could come a time when you begin to worry about the future. Things could get so bad that you begin to think about the benefits of moving forward with the divorce process.

There are many early warning signs of divorce, all of which you need to be on the lookout for:

  • The other person does not care about your feelings. This is not what marriage is all about. It's important for both people to care about the other.
  • No longer interested in spending time together. Over time, some couples drift apart. What they once enjoyed doing together they are no longer interested in.
  • Everything leads to an argument. There is no denying the fact that you will argue every now and again. This is all part of being married. However, you don't want to get to a point where everything turns into an argument. This is a bad situation that is only going to get worse in the future (unless something is done.)

The many challenges you’ll face after divorce

Even if you realize that divorce is the best way to fix your marital problems, it doesn't mean you won't face any challenges once this process is in the past. In fact, you should expect to run into some issues every now and again.

Here are some of the many challenges you need to prepare for:

  • Heartbreak. Even though divorce may be the best answer for you and your ex-spouse, it doesn't mean you won't feel bad about what happened.
  • Adjusting to a new life. Now that you are no longer married, your life will not be the same. You must get ready for a new life in which you no longer have to consider your spouse.
  • Doing things on your own. It can be a challenge to adjust to this, as you may be used to doing things with your partner.
  • Parenting on your own. Even if the other parent is still involved, you won't be raising your child or children in the same house.
  • Financial changes. Depending on your past circumstances, you may find that divorce leads to a variety of financial changes, such as the need for you to seek employment.

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