Resolved to Divorce in the New Year? Sodoma Law Gives Tips on What to Do Next
Admit it: Many of us make and then break the same New Year’s resolution year after year: lose weight, save money, be more appreciative of friends and family. But as the attorneys at family law firm Sodoma Law have seen, for many, the New Year is also a time when unhappy spouses not only resolve to divorce—they hustle to act on their decision.
“Especially for families with children, emotions can come to a head, yet be suppressed for the sake of family harmony during the holidays,” said Nicole Sodoma, founder and attorney, Sodoma Law. “Once the New Year’s celebrations end, our firm sees a significant uptick in parents ready to move forward with separation.”
But even the most resolute of these divorcing spouses face a challenging and emotional minefield in the months that follow. Ms. Sodoma and her team of compassionate, tenacious family law attorneys have shared their top tips to help educate and empower anyone approaching this milestone:
1. Set your Objectives
§ What do you want your family’s life to look like post-divorce? For example, joint custody or will one parent have primary custody of the children? Keeping or selling the family home? Once you have separated, what financial support will you need? What financial support do you have?
2. Put Finances in Order
§ Pull together a listing of joint and individual accounts; review your prenuptial agreement if you’ve one in place – or, perhaps a postnuptial agreement may be the right choice for your situation for now.
3. Remember: Put Kids First
§ Outline your ideal parenting agreement and consider consulting a parenting coordinator if you believe your relationship will have high conflict.
4. Choose an Attorney
§ Make sure you have done your homework, to avoid investing in hiring the wrong one for you. Research online, ask friends (if you are comfortable in doing so), and determine who will best suit you and your family. No two family law attorneys are alike and finding one you trust (and whose practice focuses on family law) could be critical to how your case and its results are shaped.
§ Try to create your list of questions in advance, as once you get to the consultation, if you are receiving the right education, then you are likely to feel overwhelmed with the amount of information offered to you. Jotting down your questions in advance will help you to remember to ask about your biggest concerns or fears of the process and will help you set expectations.
And as you plan, assume nothing! For example, if you’re a husband, don’t assume you won’t be eligible for spousal support. Social mores are changing; today, more than ever before, fathers stay at home while more mothers are the primary income for the household. This shift in the “economic balance” naturally leads to a shift in the proportion of husbands seeking support.
“Deciding to divorce is never easy, but having a plan in place ensures you’ve done the best you can to prepare your family and yourself for this new phase of life,” notes Ms. Sodoma. “The right attorney for you is the one who helps you to understand your goals – where compromise is possible, and where a strong advocate is needed – and who creates a plan to get you there.”