Not everyone gets the benefit of knowing that a divorce is coming before the process starts. But if you are planning to initiate the divorce process yourself, or if you have reason to believe divorce is coming, there is a lot you can do to prepare. Here’s how you can prepare to make the process faster and smoother, while also increasing your chances of a peaceful dissolution.
1 – Talk to an attorney
Many people have an unrealistic image of what a divorce is. Real-life isn’t like in the movies; divorces don’t have to involve lengthy legal battles. And in some states, the people getting divorced don’t even need to appear in front of a judge at any stage of the process.
This is why you need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible when dealing with a divorce; preferably before the process even starts. Not only so you can get a realistic estimation of what your divorce is going to be like, but also so you can learn the details of how divorces work in your state. Looking into how much does a divorce cost in California or Nevada will also show that the cost of getting a divorce changes between states due to different legal requirements, fees, and other potential sources of expense. Which is another thing an attorney can lay out for you.
2 – Organize your finances
A big chunk of the divorce process comes down to money and assets. So having your financial documents collected and organized can make the initial stages of the process much easier. These documents are also a consideration if you are planning to move out of the house after the process starts — make sure you take these and other relevant documents with you to prevent headaches down the line.
Determining what you own and what assets are part of your shared estate with your spouse is a big part of the process. This includes obvious assets such as cars and homes, but also assets that are often skipped over, such as artwork, intellectual property, and anything else of value.
3 – Study your options
As your attorney will explain, there are many ways to go about getting a divorce. Doing it peacefully through mediation is usually the least stressful option, and is the one couples often choose when both sides are cooperative. But there are other venues fit for other situations, and studying about them yourself will give you a chance to consider those in-depth before bringing them up with your attorney. And it can help you make an informed decision if your attorney ends up suggesting other options.
Earlier in the process, your primary goal should be to keep things peaceful and get your partner to collaborate. The process is simply much easier if your spouse isn’t fighting you every step of the way.
4 – Plan your support network
Are you going to need a place to stay after you file for the divorce? Money for personal expenses? If you get a chance, consider these and other logistical issues before the process starts. It’s also wise to plan your emotional support networks — therapy and support groups can make the stress of divorce much more bearable, and taking care of your mental health will help keep your temper in check during the divorce negotiations.