The reason is simple; you don’t know what you don’t know.
During the period after you separate, but before you are divorced, there are a lot of unknowns, where every part of your life is up in the air. In this crucial time, gaining an understanding of your legal rights and setting some expectations with a Columbus divorce lawyer can help you feel secure in a vulnerable situation.
A divorce lawyer will help you define your situation, so you understand your rights and responsibilities during your separation. There are three types of separations where the marriage isn’t terminated:
Each of these scenarios can impact you in different ways, and may have a specific impact for you financially. It’s important to determine your circumstances with your lawyer so you know how to approach your everyday life.
Who pays for what… and when? Immediately upon separating, there’s a shift in the financial dynamic. Although long-term asset division will be handled eventually, debt, mortgages, bills and childcare still need paid in the meantime, and that’s a factor you don’t want to fall behind. Your divorce lawyer can help you set a plan of action with your spouse and assign payment responsibility from the beginning, making your life easier in the long run. If you need child or spousal support, this aspect needs to be addressed right away.
As wonderful as it would be for life to pause for a moment while you sort out the storm of “what-ifs,” the reality is that you still must tend to everyday responsibilities. During your separation, life goes on. The kids still have to go to school and be at their soccer game. The grass still needs mowed. The health insurance, car insurance and family cell phone plans still exist. The dog still needs taken to the vet. During the time while separated from your spouse, your lawyer will be able to help you figure out what happens to all of these pieces.
Sometimes, it’s hard to decide on the next step after initiating a separation. Talking with your divorce lawyer can give you some perspective, as it is informed and rooted in behaviors they’ve seen in their time practicing their craft. For instance, if your partner refuses to try, you can’t communicate with each other at all, or if either of you becomes dismissive when trying to resolve an issue, then there may be a high-risk for divorce, as problems will continue to go unresolved. Moreover, if you run into problems in addressing your joint financial obligations or daily responsibilities by agreement, it may be necessary to begin the process of filing for divorce so that you can ask the court for some temporary orders dealing with those issues.
Thinking about separating from your spouse, or have just separated? Schedule a consultation today with respected Columbus divorce lawyers with more than 50 years combined experience, Babbitt & Dahlberg, today.