Life doesn’t always go as planned. You meet someone, you fall in love, you get married and then you start family. At that point you think that the two of you will spend the rest of your lives together raising a family and then spoiling the grandchildren. But as time wore on, it became more and more about the kids and less and less about the two of you.
There were disagreements along the way, but none of the epic battles of Hollywood films like Kramer vs. Kramer or The War of the Roses. The marriage simply became more of a partnership and less about marriage. The kids deserve happy parents and you deserve a more fulfilling life. It was time get a dissolution, which is another word for uncontested divorce.
Dissolutions are the case when the couple agrees that their marriage is over and they want to move on with a minimum of fuss and expense – it would also be nice to save some money now that the family will have the expenses of two homes instead of one.
Below is a to-do list for marriage dissolution that keeps things moving smoothly with a minimal impact to the kids and yourselves.
•1. Determine where you will file – at least one of you has live in the state to file for divorce there. Get all your forms here and fill them out properly and file them jointly to keep all the paperwork together.
•2. Get your finances in order. Detail all the assets (property, cars, boats, retirement account, insurance policy, jewelry, etc.). Get out your tax returns to see what your income was and what was owed to the government. Make two copies of everything so each party has their own file. Pay down credit cards if possible – try to make a clean break of it without carrying any debt besides necessities like a car payment or mortgage. Get new separate credit cards to build your own credit rating.
•3. Work out a plan for living arrangements. Try to stay in the family home if you can afford to. This will give the kids a feeling of stability. Whoever is moving out should try and stay nearby if possible so there can be seamless transition as the kids move back and forth from one home to the other. Outline what the custody and visiting plans will be.
•4. Child and/spousal support. Get it down on paper and make sure it is workable and able to be updated as circumstances change.
•5. Hire lawyers – one for each of you. Even though it is an amicable split, there are a lot of details to be worked out. This can be done at a table instead of in a courtroom. The attorneys should understand the tone of the dissolution and act accordingly. The idea is to create a contract that everyone can honor.
This is not a comprehensive list, but it will certainly get the ball rolling. If you, a friend or a family member is getting a divorce or a dissolution, the important thing is to take care of the kids be respectful of each other. But it is going take a lot of hard work to do it. An attorney can make that process smoother and less stressful while looking after you and your family’s best interests.