Thinking Divorce? First Things First
Knowledge is power. When you know what to expect before, during, and after divorce, you can better prepare for your future. But divorce is an emotional and stressful experience. Equip yourself now with the information you need to make informed decisions – rather than emotional ones – to secure the financial and emotional well-being of your family after your divorce is complete.
Where do I start?
- Make a Checklist
- Run a credit report. This is the baseline for assessing your current financial situation and how you will move ahead on your own.
- Develop a budget to be used before, during, and after the divorce process.
- Create a safe place to receive information. A secure place to receive mail and digital information is essential. Consider opening a post office box and new email account.
- Change all of your passwords on bank or credit card accounts and on social media.
- Copy all financial documents available to you.
- Address all medical and dental issues before you divorce.
- Remove personal, irreplaceable items from your home before the process begins.
- 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.
- Don’t Rush
Rushing to leave your marriage may not be the right move. If you have any doubt at all regarding your decision to leave your marriage, it’s worth a little exploration – either through journaling or with a counselor. Make sure you are clear about why you are leaving; determine that you’ve tried everything to make the marriage work. In some cases, the decision to leave or stay is not in your control.
- Become Familiar with Divorce
A divorce is a legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body. But did you know that there is more than one type of divorce? And that there are multiple ways to get divorced? Understand what your options are; in doing so, you will save yourself time and money and possible eliminate some stress.
There are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested.
There are four ways to get divorced.
- Do it yourself
Preparation is the Key to Your Future
There are real costs in divorce. Financially speaking, the expense can be extraordinary, especially if you go to litigation. However, the more emotional you are – fearful or angry – the more likely it is that the emotional and financial costs of your divorce rise. Knowing what to expect and how to handle tough conversations can mitigate the impact on your heart – and on your wallet.
Divorce is not easy. But it can set the foundation for creating a new life for you and your family; a life that is happy and fulfilling. Take charge of your finances. Address your emotional and physical well-being. Honor your children in positive ways. Equip yourself with knowledge about every stage of divorce – before, during, and after. The more you know, the more confident and comfortable you will feel. Ultimately, that leads to better communication and better outcomes for you and your family.