While nothing is going to stop this from being an emotional experience, there are a few things you can do to prepare for divorce. If putting things off for a while makes sense for your current situation, you may choose to take a few key steps before pulling the trigger. Here’s a look at a few ideas.
6 Ways You Can Prepare for Divorce
- Find a lawyer: Some people might suspect that getting a lawyer means you are ready to pull the trigger, but having a conversation with an attorney will help guide you through your preparation. It’s important to have a professional to advise you as you get ready to make this big change. This will allow you to go into the divorce already aware of your legal options.
- Gather paperwork: There is a whole lot of information involved in a divorce. One thing you can do to prepare is to start gathering things like account numbers, debts, tax statements, credit card information and so on. Your attorney can assist you in assessing exactly what information will be relevant to the proceedings.
- Go over your assets: Once you have gone through documents, you should have the data you need to figure out your finances. Now it’s time to make sense of all that information. Learn your debts and assets, and talk to your lawyer to understand what you might be entitled to in a divorce. If you don’t know exactly what you own and owe, it will be harder to get your fair share.
- Make sure you’re ready for financial independence: You might be surprised by the vast increased costs of keeping two separate households. Go over your finances and think realistically about what your budget would be post-divorce. Make sure that you are in a financial situation where you feel confident living independently of your spouse. Even if on paper you have plenty of money, make sure that you would have some liquid assets to pay expenses while everything unfolds.
- Document valuable belongings: Valuables might have a way of disappearing during a divorce. Try to document any expensive items such as watches, artwork or jewelry, so that you know you have a full inventory of your net worth when the divorce process starts.
- Create a plan: Once you have a sense of the basic facts, you should discuss your legal options with your attorney, so that you can build a rough game plan before the actual proceedings begin.
- Consider seeing a therapist. Divorce can weigh heavily on your emotions, which does not bode well for making rational decisions. Think about seeing a therapist or counselor for yourself and your children to have a healthy outlet to express yourself and to get objective feedback.
Taking a few steps to ensure you are prepared before the divorce can help limit the stress and chaos of the proceedings. Of course, if you’re situation is especially bad, it might be worth getting things going sooner rather than later.