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3 tips for women preparing for a divorce

Now that you have made the decision to end your marriage, you have to think about how you are going to address the issues that come up during the split. There are three main areas that you should think about ahead of time so that you are well prepared to work through these issues when the time comes.

Think about child custody

Child custody is often one of the most difficult areas that must be addressed during a divorce. You have to think about what is best for your children. Even if you don't want to have to deal with your ex, your children will still need to be around their father as long as he isn't abusive.

Try to think about ways that you can keep the schedule to which your children are accustomed. You should also think about factors like how specific custody arrangements are going to affect their social activities, schooling, and similar aspects of life. Throughout the entire child custody mediation process, remember to keep the focus on the children and not on seeking revenge by making things difficult for your ex.

Plan for property division

You will also have to divide up the property that you have accumulated during the marriage. The property division process can be especially troubling when things are complex. If there are retirement accounts, small businesses, investments and large asset holdings present, you should plan on having to sort through all of these.

You also have to think about how you will divide debts. In many cases, debts from the marriage can be used to offset differences in how the assets are distributed. It is important to note that you should also prepare for an impact to your credit. This is partially because of the lowered income since you won't be married but also because you might be affected if your ex-husband is supposed to pay for debts and doesn't. Creditors won't have to accept the terms of your property division settlement, so they might still hold you accountable for the debts amassed during your marriage.

Understand spousal support

Spousal support isn't something that you will automatically qualify for when you divorce. If you think that your ex-husband should have to pay you child support, you should find out if you qualify. You should know that there are limits to how much spous al support can be ordered. This amount is up to $5,000 per month or up to 20 percent of your ex-husband's gross income, whichever is smaller. Being prepared with information about how the law can impact your spousal support petition can help you to make decisions as you go through the divorce mediation process.

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