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How do I prepare for a pending divorce?

Denver, CO |

I sure I'm headed for a divorce. It's taken a long time to get here and I feel it will happen within a year, as time shows us neither of us are willing to change. What is the best way to prepare for divorce? What should my priorities be? We have two kids, one in college (18), one at home (14). We have a house with $50,000 equity. We have maybe $5000 in savings. I'm a homeschooling mom and watch kids for my sisters and cousins, so my house is my business. Any chance of trading equity for child support payments? So many questions. So confused after being with him so long (21 years).

Attorney Answers 2


Dear Confused,
The prospect of getting divorced can be very daunting---especially after a long marriage with children. Though I cannot give you any specifics about your case without actually being hired to represent you or advise you, you should have some basic information which I can give you here.

First, what the divorce case can include are the following:
1. Change of marital status(married to single);
2. Allocation of parental responsibilities and duties--this includes parenting time, decision making, and child support(temporary and longer term) including uninsured health care costs and certain other special needs;
3. Spousal support(what we call maintenance and in other states is called alimony)--this can include both temporary and permanent support in some cases;
4. Division of property and debts(including pension and retirement savings);
5. Temporary use of property;
6. Change of name.

To find out how all this works, you will need to do some research and/or pay an attorney for a consultation. Once you are better informed, you can decide whether to initiate the action, wait to be served by your husband or try to work on it jointly.

I hope that this helps reduce the confusion and anxiety.

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The divorce will require financial disclosures so get your finances in good order. You will need 3 years of tax returns, your bank statements, credit card statements, details of your earnings and assets, insurance documents etc. Since you run a business you need all the details of receipts and expenses.
Usually the Courts will not set off a child support obligation against equity in the house. If you have a maintenance claim you might decide to waive that claim in return for additional assets.

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