Preparing for Divorce Part 1: Prepare Yourself Emotionally/Get Ready
Getting a divorce is one of the most consequential decisions individuals ever have to make. The process of ending a marriage that you have invested so much of your life into can be very stressful to say the least. The divorce process can last several months or more, depending on how contentious the case becomes and the complexity of the issues that need to be resolved. There is a lot of preparation involved, and it begins even before you file the official paperwork.
In this series, we will be discussing the various ways you need to prepare yourself for a divorce. Before doing anything else, you need to be mentally and emotionally prepared for life after the marriage dissolution is finalized. Preparing yourself emotionally for a divorce involves several steps- here are some of the most important:
Be Absolutely Certain your Marriage Cannot be Saved
Before you make the decision to part ways with your spouse, take a hard look at your marriage and ask yourself if you’ve done everything you possibly could to save it. Have you tried counseling? Have you taken steps to deal with any personal issues you may have that could be contributing to the strain in the relationship? Be honest with yourself and be sure that divorcing is the right decision. The last thing you want is to go through this long and arduous process and regret doing it after it’s all over. Now is the time to resolve the question of whether or not you should divorce.
Commit to the Marriage Dissolution 100%
Once you have decided that this is what you want to do and there is no turning back, you need to commit 100% to the process. Understand that it’s not going to be easy, but you have already thoroughly examined the situation and concluded that getting a divorce is what’s best for everybody. At this point, approach the process with the end in mind, and do your best not to let emotions get in the way of following through.
Consider the Cost of the Divorce
Most divorcing spouses realize that dissolving a marriage is going to be costly, but it helps to lay out these costs ahead of time, so you have a better idea of what to expect. Clearly, there will be heavy financial costs. In addition to the legal fees (for the attorney, court filings, and related costs), you will need to think about how the marital assets will be divided, and other financial issues such as alimony, child support, and the tax implications. You should also consider the emotional cost not only for you, but for your children (if you have any). Divorce tends to be very hard on children, and it is important to think about their well-being throughout the process and after the marriage dissolution is finalized.
Take Time Away from the Divorce Process
When you are going through a divorce, it is a good idea to take some time for yourself and away from thinking about the process. If you are working, focusing on your job can certainly be helpful. However, you may also want to set aside some time during the day or evening where you do not think about your divorce and/or communicate with your spouse and attorney. Having some uninterrupted blocks of time focused on your kids, friends, or just having fun will make it much easier to adjust to your new life after the process has been finalized.
Seek Emotional Support from Others who can Help
No matter how much you do to prepare yourself emotionally for a divorce, it is important to understand that there will be many valleys during this process. There will be dark days when you feel overwhelmed and like giving up. This is where a strong support network can be a lifesaver. There are many others who have gone through what you are going through, and you do not have to face this alone. Seek support from family members and friends who you know will encourage you and consider joining a divorce support group in your local area.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
During your divorce, you will need strong legal counsel by your side, advocating for your rights and interests and the best interests of your children. It is best to get in contact with a lawyer as early as possible in the process. Your lawyer will not only provide legal guidance and emotional support, they will also help you get organized as you begin this difficult journey. In our next post in the series, we will go into further detail on the subject of “getting organized”. The title of our next post in the series will be “Getting organized, gathering all the information.” Stay tuned …