You're Getting a Divorce. Now What?
While typically associated with trauma, sadness, anger and conflict, the ending of a marriage doesn’t have to be that way. By taking time for yourself and understanding all options, you can find a balanced approach to this life changing process and constructively restructure your family and finances.
Here is a Guide to Preparing for Divorce
1. Resolve to Take Care of Yourself
Give yourself time and patience with your feelings. Focus on staying healthy-including rest and exercise. You will get through this!
2. Learn About Your Process Options
Mediation? Collaborative? Consulting lawyer? Traditional court lawyers? You need to understand all of your options before talking with your spouse and making an informed choice. Don’t rush this part—do your research. The process you choose will have a profound impact on cost and outcome.
3. Put Together Your Personal and Professional Support Team
You will get a lot of divorce advice, and you need to choose carefully what is helpful and healthy for you. This includes your personal circle of family and friends. Be sure to consult with a lawyer (individual or joint mediator for used education). A therapist, child specialist or financial advisor can also be part of your team.
4. Communicate With Your Spouse
If it is safe, talking with your spouse about process options and decisions throughout the process can help reduce conflict and cost—especially if you choose a mediation or collaborative process. Making decisions together, with professional help, can support each of your ultimate goals for restructuring your family and finances.
5. Get Educated
You will need to make financial and parenting decisions that will impact you for a lifetime. Even if you did not manage the finances, hounded to learn about how to make a realistic budget and discuss child support, spousal maintenance and property division concerns such as options for the home. If you have children, you can also get child specialist input to help create a financial planning and family plan.
6. Focus on the Future
What are your goals for the divorce process and beyond? Avoid using the legal process to argue fault or revenge. Consider what you want your life to look like in years to come. Make decisions that will support your personal well-being, family health, and financial security—not just what it takes to get the divorce over with. Do it right to avoid regrets and look back with integrity and self-respect.