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5 tough questions to consider prior to a divorce

You moved to Alaska right after you got done with college, and you quickly fell in love with it. You also met your spouse, got married and started your own business. While you're proud of the life you've carved out for yourself and what you've accomplished, your marriage is not as strong as it once was. There are a lot of pressures: your business schedule, your young kids, the distance from the rest of your family, and the like. If you think you're heading toward divorce, ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you have any examples you can learn from?

For instance, some people are hesitant to get divorced because their parents did and it went terribly. Rather than assuming that means divorce is a bad idea, ask yourself what you and your spouse can do to make things go more smoothly - especially for the children.

2. Is your marriage actually worse for the kids?

You want to give your kids a loving, inviting home, so it's hard to ask yourself if you're directly denying them that upbringing. However, some parents find out that it's actually better for the kids to see each parent less, but to be spared the constant fighting that happens when you live together. Naturally, if emotional or physical abuse are involved, that certainly creates a dangerous living situation.

3. What will the finances look like?

Really stop and think about life on your own. If you are used to two incomes - one from your business and one from your spouse - can you make it financially after the divorce? Remember that many living expenses will double for you as a couple, since you have the same income but must pay for two places to live. Consider the roles of things like spousal support, child support and property division.

4. How can you protect your business?

When looking at property division, carefully consider your business assets. If possible, you want to protect your company. You don't want to see the property division process force you to sell just to split your assets. This can be especially tricky if you and your spouse work together, perhaps as co-owners.

5. Are your desires for the future possible with your spouse?

Can you make the life you really want with your spouse, or is he or she holding you back and making it impossible? For instance, maybe emotional abuse has caused you to deal with depression and anxiety. In your fantasies for your future, you're free of these issues and the constant burden they create. Will that never be a reality if you stay in an abusive marriage?

The reasons for divorce are different for everyone, as are the circumstances surrounding the split. These are certainly not the only questions you want to ask. However, they give you an excellent place to start so that you can begin considering your legal options and what is best for your life going forward.

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