You may never have thought that your spouse will ask for a divorce, but now that he or she has done so, you have some vital things to do even if you do not want to think about it. These steps are essential for you to ensure a good outcome from the divorce and also to get what you need to move on after the divorce.
Your spouse may have shocked you with the announcement, but you have to keep calm. Breaking down is not an option because you have a lot to do. Now is the time to stay tough and find the best way forward. If your spouse has yet to hire a divorce lawyer, it is a good idea to first calmly speak with him or her to form a plan to tell your children, if any. If your spouse has already hired a family lawyer and served you the divorce papers, read them carefully. These documents contain a wealth of information such as the response date, the grounds for divorce, and any forms of requests such as child custody, child support, the division of matrimonial assets and other issues.
Hire an experienced divorce lawyer
Your divorce lawyer is instrumental in determining if you can walk away from the divorce with a desirable outcome. Therefore, it is crucial for you to choose an experienced divorce lawyer who has seen many different kinds of cases. He or she will be able to help you to determine the best way forward and advise you on all matters about the divorce. Depending on whether you intend to contest the divorce, your lawyer can also guide you to use the most cost-effective method in dissolving your marriage.
Gather Your Documents
When filing for a divorce, you will need to provide certain to your Singapore divorce lawyer. Personal records such as birth certificates, marriage certificate, NRIC, financial reports of your household spending, your salary, bank statements, credit card statements and all other bills must be presented. All these documents are necessary to determine, amongst others, the pool of matrimonial assets, parties’ financial means, the children’s expenses, parties’ financial contribution to the marriage, etc.
Think about what you want
Your family lawyer needs to know what you want out of the divorce. You have to decide what you want to do after the divorce. If you have children under the age of 21, you need to decide on child custody matters, and also your financial capabilities to raise them up single-handedly. While it is an obligation to provide child maintenance, the same cannot be said for spousal maintenance. Importantly, you need to decide what you want to do and have moving forward.
Hire a divorce coach if you can’t afford a divorce lawyer
If you are short on funds or wish to save some costs by speaking with your lawyer as little as possible, you can consider hiring a divorce coach. Some people hire both an experienced family lawyer and a highly efficient divorce coach. The lawyer helps with the legal documents and representation in court while the divorce coach handles your emotions and prevent a breakdown. He or she will guide you through the divorce process.
Protect your assets and communication
Once the divorce is underway, you will need to account for any movement of monies or assets. Therefore, it is crucial that you keep records of any transaction that you make so that you will be in the position to account for any debit or credit. This includes keeping receipts of any purchases. If your salary is deposited into a joint account with your spouse, it will be prudent if you make arrangements with your employer to direct the salary into another bank account in your sole name. You should always save money to fund the divorce as it can become costly especially if it is contested eventually.
You must protect the communications with your divorce lawyer as well. If you are still living in the same house with your spouse, it is wise to reroute your letters from the lawyer to your relatives’ homes or even your office. It is not desirable to let the messages arrive at an address where your spouse can quickly get hold of it. If your lawyers are communicating with you electronically, make sure you change your passwords to your email account and deactivate any cloud-sharing functions.