When it comes to Divorce and Separation, there are many common misconceptions and bad information out there for people to sift through. With this series of blog posts I hope to bring these misconceptions to light and give you the information you need if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of a possible divorce or separation. In this post I will discuss two common misconceptions I hear from clients regarding property settlement agreements and the marital residence.
One of the first misconceptions that I hear from people relates to the timing of settlement agreements and filing for divorce. Discussing, meditating, finalizing and filing a property settlement and separation agreement is where many people start the divorce process. There is a misconception about what happens after the agreement is signed. Many people believe that after it has been signed the couple must be separated for one year before they can begin filing for the divorce. This is not the case; after a property settlement /separation agreement has been signed you can in fact immediately file for divorce. A property settlement/separation agreement can be a major part of the divorce process, and once it has been signed and finalized it can help make the next steps faster, easier and less expensive. As your neutral mediator I can help you discreetly negotiate your agreement. The mediation process is one of self-determination. It keeps the decision-making power in your own hands rather than in the hands of a litigator.
The second misconception I hear many questions on is “When is it appropriate to leave the home, and are there are any repercussions if you leave before the divorce is finalized? “Many people believe that if you leave the home before being divorced, it is tantamount to abandonment of the children and property. This is not true; there is no abandonment of children or property if one of the parties moves out while in mediation or litigation. I may advise my litigation clients not to leave the house during a pending divorce action for other reasons, but even if you do, you are not abandoning your children or your property.
Look for my next installment of the Common misconceptions about divorce, separation and mediation series of blog posts coming soon. There are always questions when it comes to divorce/separation. The more knowledgeable you are, the more comfortable you can be that you are making the right decisions for you and your family.
Please feel free to leave a comment on LinkedIn with any topics you may want to learn more about. If there is a part of the process that you don’t understand, or have heard conflicting information from friends and family, let me know and your question may make it into a future post.