The process of ending a marriage is stressful and often emotionally challenging. There are many tough decisions and choices to make along the way.
Preparing for divorce is an essential step in the process before you file the paperwork to begin divorce proceedings.
1. Gather documents
During a marriage, it is not uncommon for one spouse to handle most of the finances as part of their household duties. When preparing to separate your life from your spouse, gather copies of all financial documents. Obtain copies of tax returns for the past five or ten years. Collect statements for all joint bank, investment and retirement accounts. Educate yourself about all of your joint assets and debts. Having a clear financial picture will help you know how to move forward.
2. Consider future living arrangements
Before filing for divorce, think about where you will live during and after divorce proceedings. Determine if one of you will remain in your shared living space or what will happen to it when you both vacate. Make new living arrangements.
3. Prepare for custody hearings
If you share children with your future ex, prepare for custody hearings as carefully as you prepare for divorce. When arguing for custody, it helps when you can demonstrate involvement in your children’s lives. As much as possible, maintain civil communication with your spouse throughout the divorce and custody proceedings. Think of all conversations as business transactions in order to focus on what is important.
Divorce can be emotionally and psychologically draining. Set up a support system of friends or relatives that you can turn to when needed.