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A divorce affects you in many ways: Be prepared for the changes

Before you go to your attorney to seek a divorce, there are some things that you should know. Understanding what a divorce entails before you begin may help you decide if it is truly what you want. In some cases, realizing how much can be lost can give some people a push toward working to save the marriage or toward going to mediation before a divorce. In any case, there are several things you should know before you decide to file.

The first thing that you should expect is that your divorce can take quite a long time to conclude. Although many divorces can be finalized in as few as two or three months, the reality is that many people have longer divorces because of their demands or wishes. If you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms of your divorce, it will take much longer to resolve your case.

You should expect your standard of living to change as well, because you will no longer have two people working to support the family. Even if there was only one person supporting the family in the past, the way your life is in the future will have to change.

If you are the higher earner, you may have to pay alimony or spousal support. If you are the lesser earner, your financial stability may depend on the outcome of spousal support or alimony requests in court. In either case, it is likely that you or your spouse will see a difference in the lifestyle you have in the future.

Finally, understand that other people will want to have a say about your divorce. Some people may take sides. Friends and family members that you once trusted may decide that they are on the other person's "side," meaning that you will have fewer people to fall back on. This happens in almost every divorce, and it is something you need to prepare yourself for.

If a divorce is still what you want, then it is a good idea to sit down with your attorney and talk about what kind of assets you are looking for in order to settle your case. Being realistic is necessary, and you should consider what you and your spouse will need to move forward successfully. The right approach to your divorce will help you save time and energy moving forward, resolving the case as quickly as possible.

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