Marriage takes work, and you and your husband used to agree on many things. However, with the addition of kids and a mortgage, things have gotten worse.

When divorce looms, the uncertainty of the future may cause you great harm to your physical and emotional well-being. Having a basic understanding of how three of the most fundamental elements of the process work may help alleviate the strain and push you forward.

  1. How do you support yourself after separation?

After the kids, you both decided it was best if you stayed home. Now that your husband is moving out, how will you support yourself without a job?

During a separation, your spouse should continue to support you. A lawyer can draw up a separation agreement and temporary support order that keeps money flowing in while you get on your feet. If your spouse does not willingly agree, your attorney can file a motion with the court and have a judge decide.

  1. What is legal custody and physical custody?

In Minnesota, the parties may share joint legal custody equally unless one parent is unfit. Joint legal custody means the two of you have an equal say in where the kids go to school and what type of medical care they receive. You both also have the right to access school and medical records at any time.

Physical custody is the time you each have the kids. Sharing joint legal custody does not mean you will both have equal physical custody. The time splits based on the schedules of the parents and what is in the best interest of the kids.

  1. Does a judge have to decide?

Minnesota courts encourage people going through a divorce to utilize the Alternative Dispute Resolution process. Both parties and their representatives meet with a mediator who helps them reach a fair and equitable agreement. If you cannot agree during ADR, then you may have to let the judge decide.

Speaking to a professional can further ease your mind. While divorce is not easy, it is something you can get through. Your best life is on the other side of it.