There were 787,251 divorces in American during the span of a single year.
Sometimes, a divorce can hit you by surprise. You might not realize the stress it involves until you’re trying to navigate these unspotted waters.
To help, we’ve created this list of five ways you can prepare for a divorce. With these tips, you can manage the situation with calm and composure.
Take control of your divorce before it makes a mess of your life. Avoid financial burdens and stress during your divorce using these five tips.
Stay Informed Regarding Finances
One of the first steps to help you prepare for a divorce is to become involved in all family financial decisions. Open communication is essential. You’ll need to have a candid conversation with your partner about your joint financial situation.
In fact, you want to have this conversation before you get married if you haven’t already. Make sure to ask your spouse-to-be about their financial situation. Determine:
- How much debt they’re in
- What type of debts they have
- What investments they have
- How they spend their money
- Their credit score
The answers to these questions will set a solid foundation for you both. Then, you can make informed financial decisions throughout the span of your marriage. Planning ahead can help you avoid financial disagreements in the future.
Before you reach the point of considering a divorce, make sure to remain informed regarding bills and daily household expenses. Keep track of your family’s long-term financial security.
You should remain informed regarding your:
- Sources of income and expenses
- Assets and liabilities
- Location of all accounts and important documents
- Amount of insurance coverage
- How investment accounts are allocated
- Whether the investment allocation is appropriate for your risk tolerance and long-term goals
Staying informed regarding your finances throughout the span of your marriage will give you a head start when you start planning your divorce.
When preparing for a divorce, it also helps to think long-term. Keep in mind that the worst is always possible. You’ll need to understand the financial consequences of divorce before it happens.
For example, you can speak with a financial advisor and discuss scenario planning. A financial advisor can help you determine the impact a divorce will have on your family’s finances.
Despite the fact that the divorce rate has dropped over recent years, 39% of marriages still end in divorce. While you don’t want to go into a marriage thinking about a divorce, it’s still important to understand it’s possible.
Don’t feel rushed to make any big decisions. A divorce is a life-changing event. Instead of rushing through the process, it’s important to keep your cool and make a plan.
Consider whether or not you want to stay in your home and the custody schedule you’ll have kids are involved. Who will get certain items of personal property? Make a list of everything and give each item a moment of thought.
In the meantime, remain kind to yourself. Divorce is hard. Practice self-care throughout the entire process.
Don’t beat yourself up over right or wrong choices. Instead, focus on the path ahead.
Otherwise, the stress could start to get to you and slow down your progress.
Consult with a Lawyer
As you prepare for a divorce, take the time to seek professional help. An experienced, licensed divorce lawyer can help provide professional advice as you move through the process.
When searching for a lawyer, talk to friends and family members first. See if any of them had a happy experience working with a divorce lawyer in the past. If you don’t know anyone who worked through a divorce, consider speaking to a lawyer you’ve worked with for your will or another situation.
Make sure to choose a lawyer who specializes in divorce cases. A specialized lawyer will have the experience you need. Otherwise, an inexperienced lawyer might fail to defend your best interests.
Check online with your local bar association. Make sure the lawyer you’re interested in is listed. If they’re not, keep looking.
While you’re online, see if the lawyer you’re interested in holds any leadership positions. If they do, they’ve likely earned the respect of their peers. These lawyers stand out from the pack.
You can also learn more about a lawyer by checking for online reviews. If none are available, ask if you can speak with a previous client. Talking with someone else who has worked with that lawyer can help you learn about their capabilities.
An experienced divorce lawyer can walk you through the process and offer you peace of mind. You can learn more about the process by reading this divorce faq.
Gather Your Documents
As you make a list of steps to prepare for divorce, your divorce lawyer will likely suggest you start gathering your documents.
For example, you’ll want proof of your assets and debts. Make a list of everything. The more tangible proof you have, the stronger your case.
Keep a Support Team
While preparing for a divorce, make sure to surround yourself with a strong support system. Find the family members and friends who can stand beside you throughout every step of the process.
With a support system at your side, the stresses of navigating through a divorce can feel a little less difficult. Make sure to maintain healthy social ties. That way, you have someone you can turn toward for support.
Do you know anyone who has gone through a divorce in the past? If so, speak with them first. Their past experience could make your own divorce feel a lot easier.
Learn from their mistakes. Ask them how they worked through the emotional and legal parts of the process. Lean on them for support as well as valuable insight.
How to Prepare for a Divorce: 5 Steps for an Easy Process
Now that you know how to prepare for a divorce, the process can become a little easier. Remember to take a breath and keep your head. Keeping your composure can help you throughout every step of the way.
Searching for more tips? Explore the Marriage category on our blog today.
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