Divorce used to be something that nobody talks about. But today, it’s become such a central part of our culture that everyone knows at least the basics of what to expect. Here in Boca Raton, everyone knows someone who has been divorced including friends, family, and possibly your own parents. You know many of the details and the specific things people fight the most about. The problem is that this basic idea about divorces can leave you unprepared for the gritty details of your own separation and divorce.
Almost everyone is taken off-guard by some aspect of the divorce process. It might be how your taxes change as a single person or how much you’ll care about little ownership issues that never seemed to matter when you were married. When it’s time to split up, you want to keep it simple. And part of that is already having answers to tough questions that may come up during mediation, separation and drafting the final divorce agreement. That is why we have put together seven uncommon questions that you should ask yourself and your legal counsel during the divorce process. If you can wrap your mind around these questions, you’ll be in a better place to tackle your divorce head-on.
1) Is It Possible to Trust and Work With Your Ex?
The first question to ask yourself is how much you can trust your ex. Many people are astounded at how petty, destructive, or uncooperative their ex becomes once divorce proceedings begin. Some divorces are equitable with both people working together to build to separate functional lives. And sometimes the hurt that comes from divorce will drive one or both people to do aggressive and untrustworthy things like selling or destroying each other’s precious items, fighting over little issues, or refusing to budge on divorce negotiations. Some even go so far as to tell lies to get their way.
Confirm that you can or can’t trust your ex and proceed accordingly. If you have good reason to believe your ex wants to be uncooperative, make plans to move around them and take care of the most important issues early.
2) How Will You Split the Retirement Accounts?
Did you know that in many states, you’re expected to split any retirement funds accrued during the marriage? Even if the accounts are in two separate names. They are considered shared assets earned by the couple and will be split, along with other assets, to ensure each person departs with a fair financial situation. While retirement account splitting will be determined in part by the way you split the rest of the assets (who gets the house/car/etc), there is likely to be a transfer from one account to the next. Know what to expect and how to move these funds so that no ‘early withdrawal’ or early tax rates are triggered in the transfer.
3) Can You Handle 50/50 Child Custody?
Everyone who is an adult today is most familiar with the traditional parental split where one parent gets primary custody and the other parent gets every-other weekend. Believe it or not, times are changing and the 50/50 custody split is becoming increasingly common. If you and your ex still live in the same city (and sometimes even if you don’t) the courts may rule that a 50/50 share between two capable parents is fair and reasonable.
Modern kids to fine with this arrangement when it’s done right. Just make sure you’re prepared for it as well. Talk to your ex about how the two of you might handle 50/50. Which, incidentally, takes the fight for ‘primary custody’ out of the picture for many separating parents.