It’s best not to sugar-coat the obvious: divorce is a challenging and complicated process. However, you can ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible by preparing in advance.
In this article, let’s explore four straightforward tips to prepare for a divorce. If all goes well, you can mitigate the emotional and mental tolls of divorce and avoid the ugly dynamics that sometimes accompany it.
Start from a Place of Mutual Respect and Acknowledgement
Depending on your situation, this first tip will either seem like an eminently attainable goal – or an unfathomable pipe dream. In either case, it’s important to remember that while you can’t always influence how a partner thinks, you still have control over how you approach the situation.
Take the high road. Talk about what’s happening in clear, concise and sober-eyed terms. Demonstrate that you acknowledge the other person’s feelings and respect their basic rights to fairness and well-being. Even if that goodwill unravels during the proceedings (here’s hoping it doesn’t), it’s still best to begin on congenial footing, if possible.
Find Your Support Circle: Legal, Financial, Emotional and Mental
As soon as possible, find a robust support circle. On the logistical side of things, this means seeking out a knowledgeable and specialized divorce lawyer for your corner. Consider a holistic legal option like Tailor Law divorce law firm who are committed to empathy, emotional well-being and collaboration. Essentially, you want someone who will take into account what’s best for everyone while still fighting tirelessly for your rights. You might also use this time to contact a financial advisor and chat about the financial implications of the decision.
Finally, take care of yourself by reaching out to sympathetic, receptive people. On the emotional end, this might involve talking to family and friends about fears, challenges, hopes and ambitions surrounding the divorce. But you might find you get the most mileage by speaking to a therapist or professional counsellor.
Organize Your Finances
Divorces often involve dividing assets, debts and properties. To prepare for this division, you can start collecting and collating financial records, tax returns, investment portfolios, property agreements, insurance policy papers, debt records, etc.
You might also consider closing your joint accounts, opening new accounts in your name and keeping an eye on your personal credit. These steps kickstart the long road toward financial extrication and independence.
If Applicable, Maintain a Safe and Happy Environment for Children
Finally, if you have children with your ex-spouse, now’s the time to double down on an all-important commitment: The children should feel safe, happy and comfortable through the proceedings.
Depending on their age, explain the divorce in gentle, blame-free and non-conflicting terms. Avoid attributing the decision to one party, if possible. And please, leave friction and negative emotions out of the conversation.
Meanwhile, consider laying the foundations with your ex-partner for what will eventually become the parenting plan. Talk about the division of custody, time, decision-making responsibility and financial support for the child’s well-being. You may choose to include a mediator to guide and maintain civility through these discussions.
Preparing for a divorce won’t make the process easy, per se. But it will ensure that things run more smoothly, compassionately and fairly.