There are few things worse than living in an unhappy marriage. Whether you and your spouse are fighting constantly, or communications have shut down and there is a pervasive coldness invading your home, the time may have come to consider whether separating and divorce is a good idea. While putting an end to the relationship is a hard choice that only you can make, if you are considering a marital separation, our Aiken family law attorney suggests that you take the following steps needed to protect yourself for what is to come.
Separating From Your Spouse
If you are considering ending your marriage, consulting with an experienced divorce attorney is an important first step. Even if you still have some hope of reconciliation, our Aiken family law attorney can guide you in the laws that are likely to apply and how to protect yourself in the event a divorce becomes inevitable.
Under the South Carolina Code, you are required to be living separate and apart from your spouse for at least one year prior to filing your divorce petition. While it may seem like a long time, this year apart can allow you to make some important plans and arrangements. These include:
Making an inventory of all real estate, personal property, and financial accounts you and your spouse possess
Deciding whether you want to keep the family home
Considering how you will support yourself and whether alimony may be an option
Considering how time with your children will be divided between you and your spouse and any special arrangements you will need to make
All of these are issues that will eventually need to be decided during your divorce proceedings. Discussing the various options now with an attorney can help to ensure your rights are protected.
Planning For When You File A Divorce Petition
Whether you approach your separation as something that is on a trial basis or as a prelude to filing for a divorce, there is information you should gather that could prove important later in your case. During a separation, couples are likely to be more cooperative and have greater access to potential evidence than once a formal divorce petition is filed. Use this time to collect the following:
Copies of your marriage license, as well as social security cards and birth certificates for you and your children
Copies of past tax returns and current statements from loans, credit cards, bank accounts, and retirement savings, which you will need for financial declarations required by the family court
Any evidence of marital fault on the part of your spouse, such as screenshots or receipts indicating adultery, alcoholism, or a gambling problem
Police reports and statements from witnesses if domestic violence played a role in your breakup.
Contact Us Today
At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC, we provide the trusted legal guidance you need when going through a separation or a divorce. If you are considering a marital separation, contact our Aiken family law attorney to talk through the steps you need to take to protect yourself.