Believe it or not, a good divorce starts before it even happens. A good divorce is prepared. See the ultimate divorce checklist here.
No one who gets married ever anticipates the way things might go south. The unfortunate reality is that while the divorce rate may be going down in recent years, many couples all around the country are still finding reasons to call things off.
If you’re at that place in your own marriage, it might be time to start preparing a divorce checklist. Properly preparing for a divorce can make the difference between a relatively smooth uncoupling and an absolute nightmare for all involved.
If you plan and prepare for your divorce in the proper fashion, you can save yourself a lot of pain, suffering, and maybe even money. Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
Make A Budget
Going through a divorce can already be one of the toughest emotional periods of your life. If that wasn’t enough, it can also be one of the most expensive. Before you throw yourself headfirst into the process of a divorce, it’s important to understand the costs you are going to face and how you might plan for them.
One of the most important, and often expensive, things you need to think about is housing and where you will live. It’s assumed that during your marriage, you and your partner were cohabitating. That will likely no longer be the case as your divorce unfolds.
Who will move out of the current home, and where will they live? If you have children, where will they stay? Even if you stay in the current home you have, can you cover the costs on your own?
Figuring out the specifics of housing can require a huge deal of financial planning. You will need to make a very specific budget of the monthly and yearly costs you face, and factor in the new reality of a unique housing situation.
If you don’t currently work, or don’t work full-time, you might need to start looking into a job or a way to make enough income to afford these new costs. If you do make far more than your spouse, you’ll need to keep in mind that many you may have to pay to child support.
You’ll also need to factor in the cost of a good attorney, as well as the many items and belongings in your home you’ll need to re-buy.
If You Have Children…
A divorce can be even more difficult if you have children with your spouse. Figuring out how best to break the news to them and prepare for their future can be one of the most difficult portions of a divorce, especially if both spouses aren’t on the same page about what the plan should be.
You need to make sure you get all the issues revolving around your children sorted out far ahead of time, so they don’t have to bear witness to the messiness of this aspect of the divorce.
You’ll need to decide how the children will split their time between the two of you. Some spouses split the kids 50/50, while some hardly ever see their own children. Often, this is not something spouses see eye to eye on and negotiating this matter can get quite ugly.
Where they will go to school now needs to be discussed, as well as which home will be their primary residence.
Once all the logistics have been sorted out, you’ll still be left with one of the most difficult tasks: figuring out how to break the news to them. It’s important to be honest but gentle in passing the news of your divorce onto your children.
Ensure they understand that the divorce is not their fault.
Make A Legal Plan of Action
A divorce can be complicated in the eyes of the law, and it’s important that you approach the divorce with a plan in place. The first thing you need to is decide where you plan to file for divorce.
Some spouses have separated prior to a divorce and may not even be living in the same state anymore. Many states have residency requirements when it comes to filing for divorce, and it may be easier to file in the state in which you were married even if one or both of you aren’t currently residing there.
Certain states may have more advantageous laws than others depending on the specifics of your case. It’s important to do a lot of research and determine where is best to file your case.
Hiring an experienced attorney can help you make this distinction and many others. You should visit a few different attorneys in trying to lock down the one that you feel will be best suited for both you and your case.
Ensure you find someone you feel like you can really trust and rely on before officially beginning your divorce proceedings. It will be important that you can have someone to turn to and discuss questions during the often-complicated legal process.
Only with an attorney in place should you bring forward the official divorce proceedings to your spouse.
The Planning for Divorce Checklist
If you’re looking to end your marriage, it’s important that you ensure the above boxes on your divorce checklist are taken care of. Proper preparation will ensure that your divorce runs smoothly and doesn’t run into any unexpected issues.
Do you need help with the particulars of your case? Give us a call anytime to set up a consultation.