divorce hundredsColumbia, SC- It’s likely that if you are reading this you are getting a divorce. It may not be what you wanted out of your life or ever thought it would happen, but, alas, divorce is imminent. This is not going to be an easy time and you probably feel like you are going in a million different directions, but there are some steps you can take to make this transition easier on you and your children, if you have them.

Step One: Retain a Divorce Lawyer

One question men and women have when they are headed to divorce has is: Do I need a divorce lawyer? Fact is the answer really depends on your circumstances, how many assets you need to divide and whether you have children. Some couples don’t actually need an attorney, because they don’t have many assets to divide, they don’t own a home, they have no children and their finances aren’t complicated. That however is not the case with most marriages and unraveling your finances from your spouse can become confusing.  Untangling debts, finances, investments, retirement accounts, deciding what do with your home and determining child custody can be troublesome and complicated to you but a divorce lawyer in South Carolina can take some of the pain out of the process. So, you should consider getting legal assistance.

Step Two: Separate from your spouse.

South Carolina divorce law won’t allow you to even file for divorce until you and your spouse have been separated for at least a year. To establish this one of you must move out of the marital home or you and your spouse must move out of the home. Whatever the living arrangements, you must live apart for a minimum of one year to meet the states requirements.

Being separated also means you cannot let your finances mingle or continue to in engage in sexual relations.

Once meet that requirement, a couple can generally be divorced within 3 months of filing their claim.

Step Three: Talk about child custody arrangements

You and your spouse should discuss child custody arrangements before you file for divorce, this will allow your divorce to be settled quickly. You need to discuss: Who gets primary custody? Who must pay child support? What are the visitation arrangements? And, which holidays will a child spend each parent?

Child custody can be major source of contention for divorcing couples, so a resolution to a custody dispute can difficult reach without the advice of a divorce attorney. Child custody can take months to resolve, but you discussing child custody ahead of time can make this issue easier to resolve. This will also make negotiations go more smoothly, hopefully.

Step Four: Organize your finances.

Like child custody, financial issues can add to the conflict of divorce. In order to resolve this issue you and your legal counsel need to understand your finances. They need to see you all the relevant paperwork including your earnings, assets, debt, deeds and insurance paperwork. Your counsel needs this information to determine what you are entitled to and how much, if any, spousal or child support you should be awarded. Let USAttorneys connect you with a divorce attorney near you today and get the guidance you need.