Love

6 Key Steps To Take To Prepare For a Divorce

posted by Chris Valentine

Getting divorced is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do.

Sometimes love isn’t meant to last forever. When your marriage has run its course, it’s bad enough to have the heartbreak of letting go of the person you’ve fallen in and out of love with. Throw in the divorce proceedings and your life can turn upside down emotionally, mentally, and psychologically. 

Even the most amicable divorce can feel daunting at times, especially at the start. Today, we’re going to help you get through this process by telling you 6 key steps you can take in order to prepare for your divorce. The faster you can get it all done, the sooner you and your ex will both be able to move on with your respective lives.

1. Handle Your Emotions First

It’s easier said than done to “deal with your emotions” during what is likely one of the more emotional moments of your life. When you let them get in the way and cloud your judgment, however, this entire process is going to become more drawn out and tedious than it already seems.

When a divorce gets overly emotional, you start to see disagreements in court and lawyers will have to get more involved. A contested divorce isn’t what you or your ex want because it just elongates the emotional pain. So, to avoid a flood of emotions during the divorce, try to get yourself in check before it really kicks off and hopefully your ex will do the same.

Even if it means having to see a therapist or a small circle of supportive friends around you, it’s going to benefit you greatly. It might also be a good idea to maintain communication with your ex outside of the divorce proceedings to make it as amicable as you can.

2. Start to Gather Your Documents

One of the crucial elements of a quick and easy divorce is being organized. You’re going to be filling out a lot of paperwork throughout the entire process, so the more personal information you’ve got at your disposal, the easier it’ll be. We’re talking about tax returns, pay stubs, W-2 forms, credit card statements, bank statements, and anything else you can think of.

Unforeseen things come up all the time, so you won’t be able to have everything prepared, but just do your best. Here are some other documents that you’ll want to have ready or copied:

  • Marriage certificate.
  • Pre or post-nuptual agreements.
  • Wills executed during the marriage.
  • Trust documents.
  • Retirement Accounts
  • A list of valuable joint possessions.
  • Mortgage and loan information.

3. Find the Right Attorney

Even the most prepared couple is going to run into problems without quality divorce lawyers at the helm of this thing. It’s common to have a divorce consultation before deciding on one and it’s important to note that you do both need one. It doesn’t matter how peaceful you are as divorcees, you’re still technically opposing each other in court, so you both have to have lawyers looking out for your best interests.

An attorney, in addition to understanding how these things go, will make sure you’re not taken advantage of by your ex and their lawyers. Unfortunately, this is often the case if one party fails to get a competent lawyer and emotions are running high. Take your time and find one that you can trust to guide you through.

4. Looking At Finances

The most complicated part of getting a divorce is figuring out how to divvy up your money and assets. This is something both parties and their lawyers will hammer out throughout the process, but there are some other things you can do to prepare financially for life as a single person.

If you’re used to using a joint bank account and credit card, you’re going to have to go to the bank and open up your own. Try to figure out roughly how much your divorce is going to cost and then try to minimize it. Avoid spending too much from your joint bank account and make note of what your spouse is taking from it for future reference.

There’s no doubt that this is the hard part, but once the divorce is settled and you each have money and assets out of it, you’ll have more certainty of where you stand financially.

5. Your Home and Possessions

In all likelihood, one of you is going to be moving out of your marital home when you get divorced. Make sure to speak with your attorney before doing this, because there might be some unforeseen circumstances involved, depending on where you live (ie. you might not be able to go back to the home until the divorce is finalized). 

Instead, try and find an apartment or home for rent nearby that you can effectively live in while leaving your possessions at your old home. Take pictures of all the rooms in the house and your possessions in the event that your ex decides to sell anything that you’re entitled to. You’ll also want to make a list of the items that you’d like to keep and their approximate value.

6. Keep Your Kids In the Loop, If Possible

Divorces get much more complicated when there are children involved. If your children are adults, then you don’t really have to worry about keeping them involved in the divorce process, but if they’re young, then you’ll have to use your discretion on how much they know.

Obviously, the kids should come first, so both you and your ex should be making decisions with their well-being in mind. Remember that they love both of you, so don’t make negative remarks about your spouse in front of them.

Custody battles can get really ugly. This is yet another reason to try to set emotions aside during your divorce to get it over with as quickly and smoothly as you can.

Don’t Let Your Divorce Get Nasty

Life after a divorce is complicated. After an extremely emotional and difficult time, there’s almost a sense of relief with a lot of couples, although a sadness remains for many.

These are all important things that you can do to prepare, but the most important for both parties is to keep emotional flare-ups to a minimum. If you can do that, you’ll get out of this divorce just fine.

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