Before you walk into something as complicated and confusing as a divorce, it’s important to plan ahead. Divorce is full of twists and turns, pitfalls and potholes — all of them waiting to trip you up. If you truly want a divorce that runs as smoothly and as stress-free as possible, get these particular ducks into their particular row before you start the process.
5. Your Finances
A couple of things are going on here. First, you’re going to need to realize that this process is going to cost a little bit of money. That’s not hard to take care of, but is still something to think about. However, you’re going to want to take a close look at your credit rating, the joint accounts you hold, the last few years of taxes, and other shared finances. You’re about to be on your own, and you need to plan ahead to ensure you’re going to be okay. It also will give you a fair and realistic idea of what kind of spousal support you can expect, if any.
4. Shared Property And How Much You Really Care About It
Truth be told, if your house and driveway looks like that one up there, you have a whole different set of problems. Also, your divorce is going to be very interesting. However, for most of us normal people, entering a divorce means we’re going to have to accept that some of our stuff is going to be surrendered. That’s how shared property works. If you can walk into your divorce knowing that you’re fine with giving up the boat but the Buick is your hard limit — you’re ahead of the curve. This will save time and heartache and most importantly, set you up mentally for compromise.
3. Have “The Talk” With Your Kids
Not the “birds and bees” talk (though, if they’re at that age, it can’t hurt), but the serious talk about what divorce is, what it means, and most importantly what it means to them. Remember the immortal words of Bob Marley — “Tell the children the truth.” Be as upfront with them as is age appropriate. Let them know what divorce is, that in life these things happen sometimes, and be completely honest that things might get ugly. Make sure they know going into this what to expect. That they know their parents might act the fool just a bit, but that in the end — we’ll all be better for the journey. Most importantly… don’t just talk to them, listen too. Let them ask some things, but also let them tell you how they feel. The insight you gain will be invaluable.
2. An Effective Stress-Management Plan
Do this before your divorce. That “before” part cannot be emphasized enough. You are about to go through the second most stressful thing in the human experience, behind “death of a loved one.” The last thing you want to do is find yourself four months into the process, losing your hair, taking up smoking cigarettes, and nursing an ulcer. Divorce stress is not something to play catch up with. Look at yourself going into the divorce, and make a realistic and manageable plan for your stress. Whether you take up yoga, start jogging, meditate more, mandated time in the sun, practicing Mindfulness — whatever. Just do it. This is a long run and you have to pace yourself. Take care of you.
1. Choose A Lawyer You’d Want To Eat Dinner With
So many people will just go with the first lawyer they run into, and end up in a bit of a jam when they realize it’s not a good fit. It cannot be repeated enough that you’re about to do something insanely stressful. It behooves you to hire an attorney that gives you a comfortable vibe, and who can handle your case with respect. If a lawyer acts like it’s time to strap up and go to war, you need to move on down the line. A truly talented family law attorney will keep everyone focused, and ensure peace is kept. Your lawyer is working for you, not the other way around. Hire one that you have a bond with and that is looking out for your best interests — not their wallet.
Divorce is a highly stressful time. Our attorneys can handle your divorce with the respect and care you deserve. Use our Contact Us form to speak with an attorney now, who can guide you through your divorce the right way.