When we embarked on our legal journey nearly a decade ago, we were met with skepticism: “How can you ever make money? Filipinos don’t get divorced.” Our experience has taught us that this perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Due to the scarcity of Filipino family law attorneys, there’s a dire need for trusted resources for individuals facing the emotional turbulence of divorce. As advocates of choice and empowerment, we, at Pinay Law, support individuals in toxic marriages to seek a healthier and happier path for their families. Below, we share essential tips for those contemplating divorce:
- Divorce Should Be a Last Resort:
At Pinay Law, we firmly believe that divorce should never be an impulsive decision. Have you exhausted all efforts to save your marriage? In Illinois, there’s a mandatory six-month separation period before finalizing a divorce, designed to prevent impulsive actions. During this time, we encourage you to get your financial affairs in order. Collect essential documents such as tax returns, bank statements, mortgage papers, and more. This preparation will help you understand your financial situation and what you may be entitled to during the divorce process.
- Divorce Impacts Finances:
Divorce inevitably results in financial setbacks. Legal fees, maintaining separate households, and duplicating expenses will leave both spouses feeling financially strained. Our role is to guide you through this challenging period and help you prepare by setting aside some money as you navigate through divorce.
- Divorce is Not a Breakup:
We emphasize that divorce is not merely a breakup; it comes with responsibilities and obligations to your spouse and children that may extend beyond the divorce. Marriage vows constitute a binding contract where both parties promise to ensure each other’s well-being and the welfare of their children. At Pinay Law, we urge you to choose a partner wisely, with shared values and aspirations, to prevent financial disparities that can lead to conflicts during divorce.
- Legal Separation is Not a Solution:
Legal separation may seem like an alternative to divorce, especially for those uncomfortable with divorce. However, it carries all the downsides of divorce with none of the benefits. It is expensive, legally separates your assets and debts, and does not allow you to remarry. If you eventually decide to divorce after a legal separation, you’ll have to go through the process again. If you’re not ready for divorce, consider physically separating and living in separate homes until you decide to reconcile or divorce.
- Don’t Represent Yourself:
At Pinay Law, we cannot stress this enough: seek legal counsel when going through a divorce. Trying to represent yourself can lead to costly mistakes in the long run. Even if you and your spouse agree on everything, it’s crucial to have your interests protected by a lawyer. A lawyer can review any marital settlement agreements to ensure you understand the terms and your rights are safeguarded. Hiring a lawyer at the beginning is far more cost-effective than dealing with legal issues that may arise later.
- Divorce Can Bring Positive Change:
While divorce may seem daunting, it can lead to a better life for many. Toxic marriages can transform into successful co-parenting relationships or even friendships. Individuals can discover new passions, reconnect with loved ones, and find happiness in their newfound independence. At Pinay Law, we encourage you to remember that happiness is priceless. Don’t let legal fees or concerns about your ex-spouse’s entitlement hold you back from pursuing your happiness.
If you are contemplating divorce, please reach out to us at Pinay Law. We are here to guide and support you through this challenging process, ensuring that you make informed choices for your future and the well-being of your family.