The divorce process can be stressful, even for those who are on amicable terms with their spouse. After all, the outcome of the legal issues facing you can dictate everything from your financial stability to your relationship with your child post-divorce, all of which can define your life moving forward.
Although the stakes involved might leave you feeling uncertain about your future, there are steps that you can take to better position yourself for a successful outcome. With that in mind, let’s look at what you can do to prepare yourself to address property division in your marriage dissolution case.
How to prepare yourself for your property division dispute
You need to have a solid strategy when you enter property division negotiations and litigation. If you don’t, then you could be at a financial disadvantage as you move into the next chapter of your life. So, consider implementing these techniques to maximize your chances of obtaining the outcome that you want:
- Diligently assess the marital estate: Virginia is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the marital estate should be divided in a fair, albeit not necessarily equal, fashion. But before you know what to advocate for, you need to know what’s in the marital estate. That might sound easy enough, but a lot of people have a misunderstanding about the extent of certain retirement accounts and other assets. In some cases, spouses even hide assets to try to keep them to themselves post-divorce. You need to identify these hidden assets and make sure they’re looped into the property division process.
- Have a post-divorce plan: You’ll know what you need to get out of your property division if you know what your life is going to look like post-divorce. One way to do this is to create an honest budget. Take a realistic look at your anticipated income, taking into account things like child support an alimony, and calculate all of your monthly expenditures. By doing this, you’ll be better positioned to identify what you need coming out of your divorce.
- Identify your spouse’s pressure points: There are probably certain legal issues or certain assets that are critically important to your spouse. If you’re able to identify them, then you might be able to identify areas where you can allow your spouse a “win,” which may better position you to obtain a favorable outcome on an issue that’s important to you.
- Find a communication strategy that works: An overly confrontational property division dispute can lead to an outcome that’s worse than you otherwise might obtain. But it can be hard to avoid conflict when you can’t even talk to your spouse without getting into an argument. That’s why it might be best to consider alternative modes of communication that reduce conflict, such as emailing or texting, or even letting the attorneys serve as intermediaries.
- Know your litigation strategy: Most people hope to negotiate some sort of resolution to their divorce. But if you can’t, then you need to be prepared to argue the matter in court. That’s no small thing, as the legal strategy that you land on can have a tremendous impact on your outcome.
Build the divorce plan that’s right for you
Your future is on the line in your divorce. That’s why you need to diligently work to build the arguments and strategies that put you in a position to win where it matters most. To increase your chances of reaching that sort of outcome, you might want to continue to reflect on your circumstances and learn more about how to advocate for your interests.