Before you finalize your divorce, there are certain things you should do – even if you are the one who is requesting the divorce. Often, emotions get in the way of rational thinking during divorce proceedings, which can push someone to jump into the process rather than thinking things through.
Just like with any other life-altering decision, it is important that you take your time and understand where you will stand after the divorce. Here are 5 important things that you should have secured before you finalize your divorce.
1. Before You Finalize Your Divorce, Be Certain That You Want a Divorce
While this may seem like an obvious one, the decision to file for a divorce is a highly emotional one and should not be made when your feelings are heightened, particularly after an argument. You must be certain that you want to file for a divorce, as once you do, it can be hard to retract.
Courts can – and do – grant divorces when only one spouse wants one, so if you want to give marital counseling a try first, make sure to do it before you file for divorce.
2. Gather Your Financial Documents
Divorce cases often rely heavily on documentation. Your financial accounts, phone records, car insurance, and even your will are all going to be relevant in your divorce case. You must gather all your documents and get them in order before you file for divorce. Speak to your will writing solicitors, mortgage provider, and any other insurance providers to obtain copies of all your documents.
If you and your spouse have shared document files, make copies of them before meeting up with your solicitors. It is also smart to get records and copies of your online accounts. Not all partners react well to receiving divorce papers and may make it difficult to access documents once you have filed for divorce.
3. Set Your Custody Goals
If you have children, their custody situation is likely to be at the forefront of your mind during the divorce process. You should know that it is likely that you and your partner will share custody of the children, so it’s a good idea to sit down and review your schedule, your children’s schedule, and other obligations that may come up. You will then be able to set your desired custody schedule.
4. Figure Out Your Living Situation
Do you want to stay living in the same house as your spouse during the divorce, or would you prefer to move elsewhere? Decide on the goals for your living situation, both during and after the divorce. How you behave in the weeks and months leading up to the divorce can greatly impact your chances of obtaining use of the marital residence. It’s best to speak with your lawyer about how you should position yourself for the living situation you desire before you finalize your divorce.
5. Develop a Good Support Network
Going through a divorce may well be one of the most stressful things you go through during your adult life. One aspect which is often overlooked during a divorce is the emotional toll that it takes on people. Surrounding yourself with a support network is just as important as finding a lawyer and getting the relevant documents.
If you have the means, then it may help to speak with a therapist or seek advice from a doctor. Speak with friends or family members who have also gone through a divorce and let them know you may be leaning on them for support from time to time. Being emotionally stable will help you make smart decisions as your divorce progresses.
Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer for many different business and finance publications. With a range of knowledge in the business sector, she is an avid researcher and writer in the field. Having worked with a number of different businesses, Natalie is now a freelance writer looking to specialize in divorce finance and provide advice where possible.