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How to Prepare Yourself for Divorce

Divorce can be a difficult time that presents numerous challenges. Although you may feel unprepared to face these challenges, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do so. In fact, when you believe divorce is imminent, there are several things you can do to protect yourself during this sensitive process.

Planning to Go Through with Divorce

As with most important crossroads in life, it helps to plan for divorce as much as possible. Even if you never anticipated divorce or this matter suddenly arose in your life, you can act now to keep yourself grounded while ensuring you can reach a fair outcome.

1. Consult with a Divorce Attorney

Before taking any steps toward divorce, consult with a divorce attorney who’s willing to represent you. By hiring a legal professional to help you protect your interests, you can have a better understanding of what you should do, and you can feel more confident about doing it.

2. Collect Your Marriage Documents

Divorce involves a lot of paperwork, beginning with the legal documents most relevant to your marriage. These include your marriage license, any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements you may have, and life insurance policies you or your spouse may have on each other.

Having these documents on hand is critically important, especially during the initial stage of the divorce process.

3. Obtain Copies of Important Financial Paperwork

Next, you’ll want to make sure you have – or at least know how to get – copies of important financial records. These records should include information about the income, assets, and debts you and your spouse share and hold separately.

Some of the most important financial documents you’ll need include the following:

  • W-2s, 1090s, and other income records
  • Tax returns for at least the past five years
  • Bank statements for all checking and savings accounts
  • Retirement plan accounting
  • Security deposit box information

4. Gather Other Important Documentation

While gathering financial documents, also collect other important documentation that may be relevant to your divorce. These documents can include login credentials for bank and credit card accounts, real estate deeds, vehicle titles, birth certificates (yours and your children’s), and others like these.

5. Plan on How to Separate Your Life

Divorce is all about disentangling your life from your spouse’s. While the lion’s share of that process happens later, there are a few things you can do now to get started.

It’s important to have a firm grasp of how to do something like open a credit card or bank account in your own name, get a P.O. box or new health insurance, and other important things. Depending upon how long you’ve been married, it may have been a long time since you last navigated these processes on your own – if you even ever had to.

You should also create a list of personal belongings you wish to keep in the divorce. This includes separate property you brought into the marriage as well as family heirlooms and gifts. You will have to disclose all of these things, so don’t attempt to hide them out of fear of losing them. In the case of separate property, try to find as much documentation as possible that you owned something before your marriage and that you avoided commingling it with marital property.

6. Talk About a Parenting Plan with Your Spouse

The court will ultimately decide on custody and visitation issues, but it helps to establish an understanding with your spouse about what each of you envisions for the future when it comes to raising your children.

This is especially important during the early stages of divorce, so it helps to establish who is responsible for picking up kids from school, taking them to doctor’s appointments, and other important day-to-day tasks.

You can also discuss your intentions for time-sharing, especially during any upcoming holidays. Figuring out how to divide time with your kids during the fall and winter holidays can help you avoid unnecessary friction and frustration during an already difficult time.

7. Talk to Your Children About Divorce

When and how you choose to talk to your children about your divorce is up to you, but it’s important to do so before things change too much for them.

Divorce has an immense impact on the adults going through it, but it often adversely affects children even more. Talking about your divorce in an age-appropriate manner can quell some of the worst fears your children might have about what happens next.

Always keep in mind, though, that getting a divorce doesn’t mean you or your spouse are bad parents – it’s just a transition in life that you are all experiencing together.

Contact Us for Legal Assistance

If you’re ready to take the first step toward divorce, you can reach out to Krusch Divorce Resolution for assistance. Our legal team can provide the support and guidance you need during this time to help you make sense of the divorce process and protect your interests in it.

For more information about how we can help, contact us online today.