A divorce can put a hold on many other important aspects in your life. There are constant thoughts of how to remedy the situation, or simply make it out without being completely devastated. Unfortunately, some things just are not meant to be and if divorce is imminent it could leave you to deal with it alone.
Here are ten steps to consider taking when a divorce is on the horizon.
There is a plethora of information on divorce proceedings available for people to access. You are not the first to end up in this situation and you will not be the last. There are many common factors that lead to divorce, as well as similar resulting developments. Others who have been there are often willing to share their experiences to help you get through it. Be careful to draw advice only from those whose tips are constructive and healthy.
Research can also save you a lot of confusion once the proceedings begin. There are specific rules associated with getting a divorce and it is important to understand them well, so you do not suffer financially under rulings.
2. Remain Civil
It does not matter how angry or upset the situation leading to the divorce has made you. Always remain calm and collected when dealing with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. This can be especially difficult if they have especially wronged you financially, or emotionally.
Since adultery is a leading cause of divorce, many proceedings are emotion-filled and that can get in the way of having smooth proceedings. When learning more about adultery in divorce, keep in mind there are legal rules associated with it that are best understood with a clear and collected head. Any arguments or vengeful acts will only progress the situation negatively. It can waste time, making the process longer than needed. It can even reflect badly on yourself, costing you down the line legally.
3. Take Inventory of Possessions
It can be hard to determine what really belongs to who when you have been with someone and shared things for so long, but this will have to be done. Some things obviously belong to one person or the other. One common tactic couples use is to put stickers on things they want so it’s easier to determine what even needs to be taken into account.
Larger possessions, like your home and cars, are a completely different story and will need to be handled according to specific rules. Some assume just because a vehicle or house is predominantly in their name that they will have complete rights to it. There are particular judgements that may separate ownership because of who the household income comes from.
4. Smart Budgeting
Many surprise expenses will pop up along the way, especially if you are caring for your home after your spouse has moved out and stopped paying bills. You may find new expenses will be needed to cover the missing work around the house. Preparing a budget and ensuring you have what is necessary to maintain your lifestyle will help you get a handle on how to proceed. Divorce will be costly, but you can minimize costs by knowing the process in-depth.
5. Prioritize Any Children
Dealing with your children can be one of the most challenging aspects during a divorce. This is something that will affect them as well, and it is important to sit down with them to tell exactly what is going on. You will also need to determine who will become the primary caregiver and how expenses will be handled. Depending on the situation with your ex-spouse, it may be necessary to dictate court-ordered child support.
6. Consult an Attorney
Information on your legal rights is vital to have at this time. The different regulations involved in a divorce can become attainable once contacting legal professionals. Attorneys can provide the facts of what the road ahead of you entails. You may be entitled to more than you think, or need to take extra precautions to not suffer loss. Legal representation can defend you from being taken advantage of by your ex-spouse.
7. Accumulate Financial Documents
Financial records are an important piece of information to ensure all bills and possessions are split up equally. You will have to agree on who is responsible for what. A difference in incomes can come into play when it comes time to decide how things will be split.
8. Manage Debt
This will one of the more challenging facets of a divorce, no one wants to take on debt. Certain bills you may have been handling together, such as school loans, will obviously belong to one party or the other. But if finances were shared, one party could end up owing the other for bills that were put in their name.
If your marriage has collective debt there are sometimes special marital debt circumstances that can be arranged to split the debt into two.
9. Get Support
A divorce can be a lonely time without the person you have been with for so long. This will be a lot of extra stress to deal with at first, and no one should have to go through it alone. It is okay to ask for help from friends and family if needed, and there are experts lined up to help those in this troubling time as well.
10. Take Responsibility for Yourself
It can be easy to believe you have no fault in the problems in your marriage. This is often not the case and understanding what has gone wrong can help you prepare for your new chapter in life. If you have made decisions that ended up adding to the conflict, take responsibility and recognize your hand in things. It’s hard to let things go, but remember why you are doing this- to get away from the negativity, so do not carry it with you.
Positive Actions, Smooth Divorce
Divorce marks the end of your marriage, but it will not mark the end of your life. Using smart financing decisions and reaching out for help can guide produce successful divorce proceedings. Keep any children at the top of your priorities and do not be deterred by an empty house or snide remarks. A divorce is usually not a happy time for those involved but can be manageable if prepared by thorough research.
Are you an engineer or product designer looking to protect your new idea or project? Are you asking yourself “how much does a patent cost?” and is that a worthwhile investment?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about patents, including how they work, how much they cost, and when you should get one.
What is a Patent?
A patent is essentially a license that gives you the property rights to a product or creation you’ve invented. With a patent, the patent owner has the power to give permission to or license their patent to other parties, which will allow them to use the invention. It also prevents other people from using, distributing, or selling the invention without the patent owner’s consent.
There are two types of patents you should know of:
The utility patent is the most common type of patent. It’s used to grant license ownership for things like new machines, chemicals, and processes. This patent provides protection for the way a product or process works.
A design patent is a patent that protects the actual appearance or design of a manufactured product. This patent doesn’t protect the structure or features of a product, but rather how it specifically looks.
How to Determine if Something Can Be Patented
To qualify for a patent, your invention has to be different enough from other similar inventions. It must also be “non-obvious”, which means that someone within that field of invention must consider it an unexpected invention. Lastly, it must not have been used, sold, or patented by a different invention with a year of the date you filed your patent application.
Here is a list of categories you can generally patent:
- Computer software or hardware
- Chemical processes or formulas
- Furniture design
- Medical devices
- Medical devices
Here is a list of things that cannot be patented:
- Laws of nature
- Physical phenomena
- Abstract ideas
- Non-useful or offensive inventions
- Works of literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic nature (these can be copyrighted)
If your invention falls under one of these categories, you cannot patent it.
How the Patent Process Works
To get a patent, the invention must apply for one within one year of publicly announcing their invention. Before you apply for the patent, the inventor should do a preliminary patent search to determine if their invention has already been patented, or if trying to patent it is feasible. Once they do that, they can submit their application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which will review the patent.
Click here to learn more about how the patent application filing process works.
How Much Does a Patent Cost?
The cost of a patent can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the type of technology involved in the invention, attorney fees, and where the invention is being patented.
The first associated fee is the patent application, which can cost you as little as $65. It’s important to know, however, that this fee differs based on whether it’s a provisional patent or a non-provisional patent.
How expensive a patent costs usually depends on the legal fees and the complexity of the invention. Highly complex inventions like hardware or software will cost upwards of $16,000 whereas a relatively simple invention like a board game will cost you closer to $7000. Design patents, in which the appearance of the invention is patented, are usually a lot more inexpensive.
Factors that Affect How Much a Patent Costs
The type of patent and complexity of the invention aren’t the only costs involved in the patent process. If you’re an individual filing a patent application, you’ll pay less than a large business would. And if your invention involves a lot of technology, the price will be inherently higher.
It’s also important to know that products that are like other ones with existing patents, generally cost more. And if you’re planning on patenting your invention in several countries, you’ll have to account for those extra costs.
Should You Get a Patent?
Not sure if your invention needs a patent, or if it’s worth the application process? Here are some questions you should ask yourself before applying.
Is Your Invention Worth Protecting?
Does your invention have the potential to change the market and make you a lot of money? Or is it something with limited potential that will only speak to a niche market? If your product invention has little earning potential, you should consider if the return you’re getting will outweigh the associated application and legal fees.
If you’re interested in your invention but skeptical about getting a patent, talk to a patent lawyer.
They’ll tell you if it’s worth proceeding with the process. And if you’re not sure, consider a provisional patent application, which puts your application on record and gives you a year to think about whether you’d like to proceed with the patent process.
Can You Afford the Patent Process?
Patents can be quite costly and may take years to actually get. So, before you file an application think about how committed you are to your invention, and if you have the time, patience (and money) to stick with the process.
Do the Benefits Outweigh the Costs?
Just because your idea is great doesn’t necessarily mean you should get a patent for it. Your invention should have significant marketing value and have a high chance of being a saleable or license-able asset. If it isn’t, the patent is most likely not worth the cost.
Are You Willing to Defend Your Patent?
There will always be a person or company looking to steal your ideas or release some copycat version of your invention. Are you willing to go to court against these people and defend your invention? If not, you should consider not getting a patent.
Final Thoughts on Patents
Patents are a great way to protect your invention and prevent people from profiting from your ideas and hard work. But there’s a lot that goes into them. By assessing things like the feasibility of your patent, and the associated costs of having one, you can decide if applying for patent protection is right for you.
Are you thinking about patenting an invention? Not sure where to start? Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you with this process!