Don't Get Surprised by These 5 Divorce Issues
Divorces can be unpredictable. Aside from emotions, there are many things to consider during divorce proceedings – from the custody of children and asset division, to other matters you may not even have considered. The lives of spouses become closely linked during marriages, and all those links must be unwound.
If you are considering divorce, it is in your best interest to understand the process, the implications it can have on all the facets of your life, and how your actions can affect your case so you are prepared and don’t get surprised.
Here are some of the more common issues that come as a surprise to many after deciding to divorce.
Divorce Takes Time
You can go to Las Vegas or the local courthouse and be married in a matter of minutes. The divorce process, however, takes time. Understand that there are a lot of moving parts involved and that it will take time to negotiate, revise negotiations, and, in some cases, litigate a case. The general rule of thumb is that the more complex and/or adversarial your case is, the longer it will take. Complexity can arise from issues like child custody, complicated assets or debt, business interests, retirement accounts and investments, medical or psychological issues, etc.
If you have health insurance through your spouse, you will need to consider how you can obtain health insurance of your own and prepare yourself for the expense. By taking your health care into account early on in the divorce process, you can ensure there are no lapses in coverage.
Spouses will commonly name each other as beneficiaries for life insurance policies, retirement accounts, estate plans, and other legal instruments. You should be aware of any policies you may hold and whether you will need to change the beneficiary. Even after the divorce is finalized, your spouse will still be the beneficiary of your policies if you do not manually change them.
Property division, or determining who gets what, is a well-known part of divorce, but it’s more than just who gets the house and who keeps the car. Property division can also mean division of debt, and debts are treated the same as any other type of property. If debt is incurred during a marriage, Oregon law stipulates that the debt will be split accordingly. Often, spouses can get surprised by debts or amounts of debt they didn’t know they had.
What you say and do during a divorce can impact your case. Don’t be surprised if inflammatory statements made in person, over the phone, or even on social media are introduced as evidence of your character or in support of your spouse’s stance on negotiations. Read more on how to safely navigate social media and digital communications in a divorce in our online guide.
The best way to avoid unpredictable issues and complications during divorce is to work with an experienced family law attorney. McKinley Irvin is the Northwest’s premier divorce and family law firm because we take the time to work closely with clients and educate them about their rights and what to expect. To discuss your situation with a member of our team, contact us today. We represent clients throughout Oregon and Washington from multiple office locations.