Divorces are by their nature stressful. For most people emotions get in the way of rational thinking. To lessen the stress there are a few matters you can do before starting the divorce process.
Before deciding on a divorce attorney, interview at least 3 divorce attorneys before deciding on one. You can also get referrals from friends who have recently gone through the same process. When deciding on a divorce attorney, make sure that you decide on an attorney who knows the value of settling a divorce quickly, but is also willing to fight for you in Court should the need arise.
If you are unable to pay your legal costs, talk to your lawyer to get a court order for maintenance for the children whilst the divorce is being finalised and your spouse making a contribution to your lawyer’s costs.
Make a list of your assets and your debts. Assets are not just the obvious house, cars and furniture but also includes investment/savings accounts and shares. As far as possible get documentation to proof the existence of the assets.
Determine your debts/ what you own: Get the latest statements of all debts you are aware of from your respective creditors.
Whether you are married in community of property or out of community of property (with antenuptial contract or married North of the Veterinary Red Line) will have an impact on your assets and debts. As a rule of thumb, if you signed for the debt or signed to purchase the property the asset or debt belongs to you.
You can find this information on either your bank statements, salary slips or latest Income Tax Return.
If your spouse is self-employed copies of bank statements and financial business statements will give you an indication of what your spouse earns. Make copies of these documentation if you can.
If you are unable to gather any information showing income, your lawyer can obtain this on your behalf during the Discovery Stage.
You already know what your current monthly expenses are. Following a divorce, most monthly incomes drop drastically. It is therefore important that you have an estimate in mind of what it will take to “keep the lights on”.
It is important to keep an estimate in mind as it will assist you when your divorce is negotiated or when your case goes to court.
If you intend to have custody of the children, it is equally important to have an estimate in mind for the monthly needs of the children. Use this example below to get an idea of your post-divorce expenses.
|Current monthly expense||My share||Spouse share||Kid 1 share||Kid 2 share|
In this example, working on a 4 member household, you monthly expenses budget is N$4250 and N$5750 per child. This is a good starting point to determine the maintenance for the children and what you need to budget for monthly. Bear in mind that maintenance for yourself, and the children are based on what you earn and what your spouse earns, talk to your lawyer in this regard.
If there is domestic abuse, talk to your lawyer about getting a Domestic Violence Protection Order. If you pursue this route, the Court can decide on who must move out and who should stay in the family home.
A factor to consider is whether your spouse may sell off some of the jointly purchased property when you are not at home.
Need a divorce lawyer?
Contact us : Williams Legal Practitioners
Third Floor Maerua Office Towers
Jan Jonker Avenue
+264 61 435 8239
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