Going through a divorce or separation is never easy no matter the reason or reasons for it. It’s an awful ordeal that can shatter your self-esteem, leave you heartbroken, and leave you desperate for love once again. Truth be told, no one gets into a marital commitment expecting it to fail. But when life happens, you may find yourself on the receiving end of divorce summons.
Preparing for a divorce is even more challenging especially if you’ve never gone through the process. It gets even worse when there are kids involved and you have to think about child custody. For the sake of your kids, it’s important that you get your priorities in check and for a minute, forget what your emotions are telling you.
So whether you’re contemplating to divorce your spouse or have already started the process, below are things you need to consider when preparing for divorce.
1. Weigh Your Options
Finding an amicable way to settle a divorce is always the way to go. Unfortunately, not all divorce cases are created equal and what works for one couple may not always work for your situation. You’ll, therefore, need to find a divorce option that works for you. Marc Wolfe, a divorce attorney at https://www.wolfeandstec.com/family-law-attorneys/divorce/ says that if you’re looking for a way to end things smoothly and fairly, it’s wise if you’d consider hiring an attorney. There are of course other options that you can try but some options may be too costly, slow, or they can take another turn, changing the situation for the worse, and an attorney will be able to guide you through this entire process with precision and efficiency.
Below are four divorce options and how they work:
- Mediation – The mediation option will involve a neutral third party. The mediator will help the couple in making informed decisions on matters of divorce. The mediator will also take part in helping them draft a memorandum of understanding on the most crucial issues of the divorce. Here, kids are the main focus of attention. All the decisions made will be in the children’s best interests.
- Lawyer-driven divorce – In this option, one or both parties may hire a divorce attorney to help them take care of the divorce and all the processes that entail a divorce. The attorney will represent the interests of the spouse who hired them. Most lawyer-driven divorce cases can end up in trial, the reason why partners need to hire qualified and experienced divorce attorneys.
- Online divorce filing – Also known as internet divorce, online divorce filing is a new age divorce option. The caveat, however, is that only one person will be allowed to register. This means that both parties must be in agreement on the best candidate to register. In addition to this, they’ll be guided by a software program. This may not work well with couples who have children because a software program cannot address the complex issues that involve children.
- DIY divorce – As the name suggests, both spouses will be solely responsible for the divorce process without having to involve any professionals. They’ll settle all the underlying issues including the financial aspects of the separation, child custody, and division of assets. They’ll draft their paperwork and file for divorce in a court of law. This option offers the couple a high level of control over settlement issues but it’s an emotionally overwhelming option.
2. Preparing Your Paperwork
When going through a divorce, you must prepare your most important documents. These are the documents that will help in preparing the divorce. They include a copy of the marriage certificate, copies of the prenup certificates, copies of both licenses, and copies of any wills.
3. Assess Your Financial Situation
When going through a divorce, you may have mixed emotions of anger, hatred, and betrayal. Whatever the situation, it’s important that you keep a clear head. This way, you’ll be able to focus on some of the most important elements of the divorce process. But most importantly, you’ll need to know where you stand financially. This means assessing your finances, preparing all your crucial financial documents, and knowing when to seek help.
The first thing you’ll need to do is find out how much you owe. In addition to this, your spouse may have used your name to borrow. This will be the right time to close any joint accounts, of course, with the cooperation of your spouse. Among other things to do includes contacting your creditors in case you’re behind on payments, consolidating your debts, and last but not least, updating your will. The last thing you want is having to see your ex drive your vintage car or the estate you worked so hard for, go to your spouse.
4. Protecting Your Privacy And Security
If you’re resolved to go through with the divorce, then it’s important that you protect your privacy during and after the divorce process. This means changing passwords to your financial accounts, social media accounts, and your emails. If you feel like you need to open a new communication channel, then do so if it helps to make you feel safe. Also, prepare yourself psychologically to stay off the grid in all the social media accounts to avoid scrutiny.
5. Emotional Preparation
It’s normal for the divorce to affect everyone in the family. However, it’s not acceptable that you all remain in the same state. If you can, seek help from divorce experts. There are people out there who are willing to stand with you and help your family through this difficult time.
Below are some places you can find help when you’re emotionally distraught during a divorce:
- Through a divorce attorney
- Spiritual counselor
- Divorce counselor
- Financial advisor
- Family and friends
It’s also important that you prepare your children for the divorce. If they are old enough, the best thing will be to provide them with enough information about the divorce while maintaining your cool in the process. In addition to this, you’ll also need to ensure that they are carrying on with their daily activities. While on the same note, be prepared to answer their most difficult questions with honest answers.
Part of your daily struggles will be figuring out what life will be like living alone without your partner. Fortunately, this is only a temporary phase and it will pass. It may leave you with some emotional scars but not deep enough to weaken your will to live. Take pride in your decision, move on, and hey, get back in the game. You’ve got it!