Divorce is one of life’s more stressful events bringing high emotion and potentially a lot of conflict between the two of you. There are many decisions to make including how you’ll split your property and if you have kids, decisions regarding child custody.
The decisions you make will have long-lasting effects, so you’ll want to give special consideration to each part of the process, and a positive mindset will help.
You aren’t alone. Close to half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce but knowing that doesn’t make it any less painful. As you proceed through the process, there are things you can do to make it more tolerable.
- Going forward, look at it as a business transaction. A marriage is a legal contract that you are now looking to dissolve with your divorce. It was a relationship for a long time, but now that it’s ending, it’s important to make things all business. Put your emotions aside and focus on the business at hand.
- Have goals for what you want. Give careful thought to what you want out of the process when it’s over. Is it important to you to have the house? The investments? How about child custody - what might be the best solutions?
- Build your professional team. Once you decide to divorce, you’ll get much advice from well-intentioned friends and family. However, it will be best to seek and follow advice from the professionals. You’ll need an experienced divorce lawyer, a financial advisor and perhaps an emotional therapist or divorce coach. A lawyer, in particular, can guide you through the process and direct you to the best way to dissolve your marriage to ensure the best outcome.
- Gather your financial information. Ahead of meeting with your attorney, assemble your financial information. You’ll need to find tax returns, pay stubs, credit card statements, investment statements and other relevant information. You’ll also need a credit report and score.
Before you commit to your Marital Settlement Agreement, be sure it’s the right thing for you by asking others to review it. The agreement will become the court order approving the details of your separation and you don’t want to agree to something you’re uncomfortable with. And as you move forward, keep your focus forward on the possibilities and opportunities this new change will bring.