Preparing for a divorce may seem on the surface like a deceitful or even selfish thing to do. Many people view it at first glance as a cold, calculated, and manipulative act that a greedy spouse might do before filing for a divorce. But the truth is preparing for divorce can protect you from devastating consequences and can go a long way to lowering the ultimate time and expense of a divorce.
Stay-at-home parents or people living paycheck to paycheck may need to prepare for a divorce in order to avoid debt, get the necessary training or education to sustain themselves, and/or help their kids to transition smoothly without any emotional damage. Although preparing for a divorce at the moment can seem callous, it may be one of the smartest things you can do.
Here are 10 proven tips that can help you prepare for a divorce:
1. Check Your Emotions
Divorce is an emotional process. Emotions fuel every argument and court battle and they tend to inflict the most pain. If you allow your emotions to run unchecked, then it will most likely cause your divorce to go awry. Controlling your emotions gives you a chance at reducing the risk of challenges throughout the divorce process.
2. Understand Your Finances
Knowledge is power and during such a tumultuous time it is a necessity. Many people go through life without fully understanding their finances, their spouse’s income, the amount of money in their 401(k), etc. Before filing for divorce, it is important to be educated on both yours and your spouse’s finances. Your spouse may become less willing to cooperate once a divorce is announced, so it’s best to gather information beforehand when it is still freely available.
3. Collect Documents
Divorce is a legal process that involves a lot of documents. You’ll need to put together a lot of financial information including tax returns, W-2 forms, paycheck stubs, bank statements, credit card statements, etc. Not only will you need to gather these documents, but you’ll need to organize them as well.
4. Research the Process
The divorce process can be complicated, especially when you are emotional, so gaining an understanding of how it works can ease the process. Divorce will affect many aspects of your life which means there are many different things you’ll need to learn and consider.
5. Develop a Financial Plan
Understanding your current finances is just one step in the divorce process and making a financial plan for your future is the next step. Before getting a divorce, you need to make sure that you will be able to pay your bills once the divorce has been finalized.
6. Time it Right
Timing is everything and this rings true for getting a divorce. If you have been considering divorce for a while, then it could be advantageous to wait some additional time if you happen to get a large bonus or more income in that given year.
7. Explore Your Options
The divorce process you choose can determine a lot about your future relationships, your finances, and your kids. You can get a divorce using mediation, litigation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce.
8. Gather Your Team
Going through a divorce alone can be challenging. Make sure to arm yourself with a team of supportive people that can help you through the process. You’ll need friends, family, divorce lawyers, financial advisors, etc. to support and aid you both now and in the future.
9. Set Realistic Goals
A lot of people go through a divorce trying to make the other person miserable, but it’s important to ask yourself what really matters. Once you set realistic goals, you will be more likely to achieve them and do less damage in the process.
10. Accept Your Divorce
Getting a divorce may be the last thing you ever expected to be doing, but it happens even to the best and brightest of us. It doesn’t mean that you are a failure or a bad person, it just means things didn’t work out in this relationship. Accepting this fact will help you move on and be happier which will reduce the stress on your family and kids.
To learn more about how to move forward with a divorce, contact the attorneys at OWENS & PERKINS by calling our office at 480.994.8824 or click here to schedule your FREE 30-minute legal consultation.