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Washington, DC, Family Law Blog

Reviewing your prenuptial agreement before divorce

A well-crafted prenuptial agreement can save couples thousands of dollars and months of frustrating time when divorce is on the table. However, simply having a prenuptial agreement in place is not a guarantee of a smooth, relatively quick divorce process. If the agreement has weaknesses, one or both spouses may have room to argue that some or all of the agreement is invalid, which can create opportunities to renegotiate terms.

Spouses who see divorce on the horizon may find it tempting to simply pull the prenuptial agreement out of the filing cabinet and start packing up their personal belongings. Instead, it is wise to review these documents to understand any weaknesses that may cause problems as you build your divorce strategy. If you anticipate a divorce in your near future, a strong strategy helps keep your priorities in line and allows you to focus on protecting your rights in Washington, D.C., and the ones you love during a difficult personal season.

A parenting agreement is critical to your future

Protecting your children during and after your divorce is of utmost importance. Neglecting to do so can affect your children for the rest of their lives.

While there's no guaranteed way to avoid disputes with your ex-spouse in the future, a parenting agreement can go a long way in keeping you on the same page.

Can you share pet custody in divorce like celebrities do?

A popular young celebrity announcing the split from their spouse recently included a statement about custody of their pets. In their official announcement of the end of their union, they felt it was important to announce that they would share custody of their pets with their ex. While that might seem like celebrity nonsense on the surface, it's an increasingly common trend in divorce.

Anyone who has opened their home up to a companion animal can understand why celebrities address concerns about their pets in divorce. Even if you have children, or perhaps particularly if you do have children with an emotional attachment to your pet, you may worry about the outcome of your divorce on your ability to see or spend time with your pet.

Should you create a postnuptial agreement?

If you missed the opportunity to create a prenuptial agreement, you're not out of luck. Instead, you should consider the finer details of creating a postnuptial agreement.

As the name suggests, a postnuptial agreement is one that you create after you tie the knot. This gives you the opportunity to work at your own pace, as you don't have the deadline of your wedding day staring you in the face.

Celebrities raise the bar on co-parenting after divorce

If you're going through a divorce, you might feel like it takes all of your inner strength to have a civil conversation with your spouse. You feel hurt and angry. You have both said things that you regret.

At the same time, though, you know that you can never fully cut yourself off from your ex. The two of you are parents, and you will always have kids together. Is it possible to get along for the sake of the children? What do you need to know about co-parenting?

Changing custody: When your child ages

As your child gets older, there may be a need to change your custody arrangements. Children often need more one-on-one time with their parents when they're young but are happier to begin branching out as they age. It's a good idea to review your custody arrangements in Washington D.C. when they appear to no longer suit your situation, so that you can continue to provide the best care possible.

There's no defined rule on how often you should review your custody schedule, but it's a good idea to do so with any major life changes and if your child has shown dissatisfaction with the current schedule.

Work through the details of your divorce in mediation

Deciding to divorce is a big decision, as it will change your life in many ways. Before you go your separate ways in Washington D.C., it's critical to carefully move through the divorce process.

While some couples end up in court, others are able to work through the details of their divorce in mediation. There are many goals of doing so, including:

  • Minimizing hostility
  • Avoiding the stress and expense typically associated with litigation
  • Creating an equitable divorce agreement

Don't want to go to court? Negotiate with your spouse

Many people know that the last thing they want to do during their divorce is go through hearings to get a judge to make decisions for them. In most cases, it's unnecessary, too.

People have the ability to find common ground and to make their decisions in ways that are respectful and informed. However, divorce can add an element of frustration and stress that impacts the way people look at their options and how they want to treat their ex-spouses.

Need to tell your kids about divorce? Here's how to do it

You and your spouse spend weeks talking about potentially getting a divorce. You mull it over. You go to couples counseling. You talk to your friends and other family members.

In the end, you decide to split up. There's only one step left: Somehow, you need to tell the kids. They have no idea, and you know it's really going to change their world. How should you do it? Here are a few tips that can help:

Are you and your ex-spouse good candidates for joint custody?

The decision to break up with your spouse is rarely a speedy one to make when children are involved. However, if you're in the throes of a toxic marriage, you might want to consider whether your children are better off if you and your spouse go your separate ways.

In the end, if you decide to follow through with your break-up plans, you'll need to determine how you and your spouse will share child custody. One growing trend is for parents to share joint physical custody.

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