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Approaching divorce and property division with preparation

For many spouses, the prospect of divorce is scary and overwhelming. This is a normal feeling, and not one that you should ignore if you find it happening in your own circumstances, but you can also take steps to address these fears directly and protect your interests. No matter how complicated or simple you expect your divorce to be, it is always wise to prepare carefully and set wise expectations about the outcome.

While it is unlikely for divorce to leave one spouse in absolute ruin while the other makes off with all or most of the couple's assets and possibly child custody privileges, these scary divorce scenarios do happen. When this does occur, it is usually the result of one spouse coming to the negotiation table unprepared or with poor guidance. If you have concerns about your spouse attempting to punish you in the divorce process, it is wise to educate yourself about how divorce settlements typically play out and the ranges typically used in spousal support, child support and property division.

It is worth noting that alimony and child support may impact one spouse much more heavily than the other, but few courts wish to leave any one party without any assets or income. It is also possible that your circumstances may change after the divorce finalizes, making it necessary to seek a modification to your support orders.

The law may provide remedies to those who receive unfair outcomes, but it is easier and wiser to prepare fully for the property division or custody process beforehand and enter the negotiations with a clear idea of your priorities and the rights you wish to protect. Proper preparation can both ease your fears about the process and ensure that your personal rights and priorities stay protected.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Property Division FAQ," accessed April 06, 2018

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