The national divorce rate in 2018 was at 7.7 for every 1000 women above the age of 15. While the rate of divorces in the U.S. has been declining over the years, marriages are still dismantling at an alarming age. Divorce is an emotional process, and being well-prepared is paramount.
Divorce preparedness is not entirely achievable. However, you can take some steps to make the process more manageable. If you have been thinking of a divorce, being in a state of a dilemma is not surprising.
Most spouses face challenges when they decide to separate. Here are some of the steps on how to prepare for divorce.
1. Be Certain
While a divorce is emotional, never file for one when you’re overly emotional. Be sure that there’s no possibility for reconciliation before opting for the divorce. It is hard to go back on the decision once you give your spouse the divorce papers.
A divorce is life-long, and you need to be certain before asking for one. It can be traumatic for your partner and children, and therefore, it should be the final resort. The last thing you want is going through a divorce knowing that there could be a less emotional solution to the whole issue.
The process is overly emotional, and losing the grip occasionally is inevitable. You will need to have better control of your emotions even if it means seeing a therapist throughout the divorce period.
2. Get a Divorce Attorney
Choose an experienced divorce attorney to make your divorce process seamless. Once you’ve identified like three divorce attorneys, interview and vet each individually. An attorney with previous experience will guide you on how to prepare for a divorce while making the process less overwhelming.
Some couples choose to work without an attorney to save on costs. However, a good attorney can make your divorce less stressful. Your lawyer will help you understand the entire process besides protecting your custody rights.
An attorney will further ensure that you settle faster, meaning that you don’t have to spend months in and out of court. You will also save yourself instances of emotional outbursts that are likely to occur when dealing with the divorce without a lawyer.
If you’ve been wondering whether or not to walk with a lawyer, now you know that hiring one is a great step towards having an easy divorce.
3. Have Your Documents in Order
A divorce requires a variety of documents. A successful divorce will require you to put together relevant financial information. Documents such as the income tax returns, paycheck stubs, credit card statements, bank statements, and W-2 forms, among other files, are essential in this process.
All these documents should be organized to make the process easier for your attorney. While the document organization seems straightforward, it can be daunting. You will be facing several distractions during the divorce process, and focusing on such a task might seem overwhelming.
However, ensure that all your documents are in place. It will make the process for you and your attorney easier. Besides, you won’t feel distressed trying to search for documents based on their demand.
4. Get Support
A divorce is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Besides, you might encounter episodes of loneliness as staying alone will be a new experience. With such turbulent emotions, getting support from family and friends is essential.
It would be best if you had people who won’t judge you. A divorce is already draining and the last thing you need is people who keep telling you what you would have done or not done. You can find a support group that offers a space for divorcees to connect and encourage each other.
Your mental health through the divorce period is paramount. You can engage with a professional therapist to help you cope as you go through a divorce. Seeking help doesn’t mean you are weak; it only shows that you care about your mental and emotional wellness.
5. Understand Your Financial Position
The average cost of a divorce in the U.S. is approximately $15,000 per person. These charges are inclusive of court costs, attorney’s fees, and the cash you spend hiring experts such as real estate appraisers, child custody evaluators, and a tax advisor.
On average, most divorce processes take between four and eleven months. The cost can increase if the process took longer. If you don’t know how to prepare for a divorce, putting your finances in order is a great place to start.
You’ll need to understand where you stand financially. A divorce works on ensuring equitable distribution of debts and marital assets. As such, it is advisable to have a clear view of the assets you own.
It is also crucial to have a financial plan to guide you during the post-divorce. Once you know the money you will be paying or receiving makes the planning easier. The after divorce budget can save you frustrations much later when the processes are over.
6. Don’t Move
Unless you’re living with an abusive partner, you don’t need to move out of the house when preparing for a divorce. Moving out can potentially affect the interest you have in the home. If your spouse continues paying for a mortgage in your absence, property distribution can face several challenges.
What’s more, moving out immediately can have adverse implications on your school-going kids. You should try to hold on until the divorce process is over. During that period, you can prepare the kids while you strategize on how they will continue schooling.
Nonetheless, it is justifiable to want to move as soon as possible. You can talk to your attorney to know what options will work for you. A move can affect your case; ensure that you make the right decision.
Knowing How to Prepare for Divorce Is the First Step Towards Succeeding
When starting the divorce journey, you need proper preparation. Understanding how to prepare for divorce will help you have a smooth ride through this otherwise turbulent process. Start by identifying your goals so that you can know the strategies to adopt.
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