Divorce can be complicated, stressful, and expensive. The process can also be longer than expected and when where there is no acrimony, divorce can be challenging financially as well as emotionally. A divorce process can turn your life upside down, which is why you need to think about how to get well prepared for it.
You can do some things to ensure you are well prepared legally, financially, and emotionally. These general considerations can remove some of the friction in your divorce and make things less stressful.
i. Consider the kind of divorce you want
Besides litigated divorces, there are other divorce options including, mediation and collaborative divorce. As part of your divorce preparations, and depending on your relationship with your partner, you should start thinking about the type of divorce you want.
ii. Understand your local divorce process
Different states have different legal processes for divorce. The process may also vary from county to county. To be well prepared for divorce, you should familiarize yourself with the laws that govern divorce where you live. This can go a long way in ensuring you are more relaxed as you approach the divorce.
i. Gather all important financial and non-financial documentation
You should start gathering all the necessary documentation as soon as you decide to get a divorce. You should gather critical documents, including life and health insurance policies, social security information, children's birth certificates, and other related documents.
You should also gather financial information and documents, including bank account statements, credit cards, pension benefit statements, mortgage statements, and personal property and business holdings.
Essentially, these documents are necessary for the division of assets, child support, alimony, and other divorce negotiations, and having them reduces some of the complications associated with divorce.
ii. Determine how the divorce will affect your cash flow and expenses
As part of divorce preparations, you should determine how the divorce will affect your finances, including your cash flows and expenses. It is important to document and anticipate how your expected new reality will affect your finances.
Additionally, if you are a stay-at-home parent, divorce will affect your need to have an income. To be well prepared for divorce, you need to start looking for a job or a source of income as soon as possible.
iii. Decide what assets you want to keep
As part of your negotiation plan, you should decide what asset you want to keep even before the divorce process begins. Divorce involves much give and take when splitting assets and incomes, hence the need to know what you want to keep as part of the divorce preparation. This can make divorce negotiations easier.
i. Seek out emotional support
For most people, divorce can be emotionally demanding. You need to be prepared to deal with emotions, including sadness, frustrations, anger, and anxiety. To cope with the emotional demands, you should seek emotional support either by talking to a marriage counselor or seeking your friends and family's support.
ii. If possible, maintain communication with your spouse.
Having a cordial and respectful relationship with your spouse, especially where children are involved, will be critical in ensuring the divorce is not acrimonious and stressful. The better the communication, the easier will be the divorce process.
iii. Consider how divorce will affect your children if you have any.
In addition to protecting yourself, you should consider protecting your children's overall well-being, including their mental and emotional well-being. Essentially, you should consider how the divorce will affect them and prepare them accordingly.
iv. Be kind to yourself and accept that it might take time to get over a divorce.
Divorce is hard, and there will be tough days; however, you should avoid blaming yourself for everything. Besides being kind to yourself, you should also avoid being in a rush to 'get it over with.' Accept that it might take some time before you heal completely from the effects of the divorce or before your life stabilize
Having credible information on protecting yourself emotionally, legally, and financially is the best preparation for a divorce. Understanding how to approach these three areas will ensure your divorce process is cost-effective, less stressful, easier, and without a lot of complications.