So much of divorce is unknown. When you start the divorce process, you have no idea what it means long term for you, for your family, and for your future. Knowledge is the key – knowledge and divorce preparation will help get you ready for what is sure to be an emotional and, sometimes, painful experience. You need to be able to make well-thought-out decisions rather than rash, emotional decisions to create a financially and emotionally secure future for you and your family after the divorce.
Divorce Preparation – Where to Start?
1. Make a Checklist
- While you have access, make a copy of all financial documents.
- Take the time to get caught up on all dental and medical issues.
- Go through all of your financial, email, and social media accounts and update passwords.
- Get an up-to-date credit report. This is going to be the foundation for your financial growth, so it’s important to know where you stand in the beginning.
- Once you know where you stand, financially, create a budget to get you through this next phase of your life.
- You will need a secure place to receive mail during the divorce. It may be helpful to create a private email account or even to open a post office box.
- Divorce can turn very ugly, so take the time before it starts to remove meaningful items from your home.
It’s going to be a long, stressful journey. Be kind to yourself and try to do one positive thing for yourself every day!
You may also want to learn:
- how to communicate with your attorney.
- how to communicate with your spouse and your children.
- court terminology.
- the difference between equal and equitable.
2. Take Your Time with Divorce
If you have any hesitancy about getting a divorce, it’s worth taking the time to explore. Meet with a marriage counselor, do a little journaling, don’t rush into a divorce without taking the time to process it. Sometimes, it is not up to you, but if it is, make sure that you have thought it through and that you are certain in your decisions.
3. Learn About Divorce
We all know that divorce is a legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body, but most of us do not know that there are a few different ways to get divorced, and that there are different types of divorce. Do your research. Learn what your options are. This knowledge can save you time, money, and a good deal of anxiety down the road.
The four different ways to get divorced are 1) to do it yourself, 2) mediation, 3) collaborative, and 4) litigation.
The two kinds of divorce are contested and uncontested.
Knowledge Is Power
Divorce is costly. If you need to go through litigation to achieve a divorce, you’ll find the cost rather expensive. Unfortunately, the more you allow fear, anger, and hurt to play a role, the more likely you are to spend more money. That’s why it is so important to take the time now to go through divorce preparation and do your research, have those tough conversations, and know what to expect.
It’s going to be a hard road, but it will also be the road that leads to you a new beginning. Create a support team, take care of yourself, get a financial foundation, be positive with your children and you will all be headed to a happier future. The more knowledge you have, the less scary it all seems. The less scary it seems, the less emotions take control, and ultimately, that will lead to clear and confident decisions to secure a better future for the whole family.