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5 things to consider when facing divorce

An unintended consequence of the COVID lockdowns is more divorce filings.  Regardless of the reason behind your divorce, there are a few things to do before you file or before your spouse files.

1.Get your financial house in order.

It is important to understand what comprises the marital estate and what is separate property.  Exact valuations of marital assets are not important at this stage, but it’s helpful to begin the process.

Next, create a post-divorce budget.  What will your weekly, monthly and yearly income and expenses look like once you separate or divorce?  This is important in planning child support, custody and asset distribution.  If you are not the spouse that handles the finances, start collecting information. Helpful sources for information are credit reports, previous tax returns, and a current mortgage statement.  These documents can help your Providence divorce lawyer learn about your marital finances.  With an idea of assets and budgets, we can speak with financial advisors to put you on the right path.

  1. Get your emotional house in order.

Divorce isn’t easy.  Staying in an unhappy marriage is worse. Know that it will get better. Many of our clients can’t believe how happy they are post-divorce and how satisfying it is to build a new life. But, between now and then is a bumpy road.

Get someone in your corner for emotional support.  Make sure you have a trusted friend or therapist that can help you talk through your emotions, fears and anxiety about the divorce.  We can help with referrals to therapists if need be.

  1. Anticipate the adjustments that will need to be made for your children.

This can range from visitation schedules to purchasing extra sets of sports equipment, to hiring a therapist for them. Your children may or may not understand what is happening and will need more attention.  If you are moving out of the marital home into an apartment, will it be suitable for your children from a space and location perspective?

  1. Figure out your housing situation

If you know that you will not be able to stay in the marital home, where will you live.  As noted, think about the children and accommodating their need to stay in the same area.

  1. Think about whether you will choose to mediate your divorce, work in a collaborative way or litigate the divorce.

Approaching the actual divorce process with an understanding of the process, timelines and costs help lessen anxiety.  Further, understanding the process and likely outcomes will help you choose the right path to dissolution.  Most attorneys, including our office, will meet with you for an initial consultation without charging you.  It is a great way to get a feel for what lies ahead.

Divorce is emotional.  It is unlike other areas of the law in that it is interest based rather than principal based.  Each side’s interest differs.  That causes conflict and emotions to run high.  Having good communication with your attorney is critical.  Take advantage of a free consultation and seek out an attorney that will listen and advocate in your best interest.



Shawn Masterson is an attorney based in Providence, Rhode Island with a focus on divorce and divorce mediation.


Contact us for more information at 401-455-0002; [email protected]

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    145 Waterman Street
    Providence, Rhode Island 02906
    Phone: 401-455-0002
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