With the holidays behind us and a new year ahead, many people who have been struggling in their marriage find themselves at the point where divorce is all but inevitable. In fact, the beginning of a new year is typically a time when divorce filings and inquiries spike.
If you are in this position, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and your future now, before you even file for divorce.
- Familiarize yourself with your finances. This includes bank accounts, paychecks, real estate ownership, business investments, retirement accounts and debts. You should also examine tax returns from recent years as well as average household expenses.
- Stay connected with your kids. You do not divorce your children, so even though you and your soon-to-be ex might be living separate lives already, make sure you remain an active participant in your child’s life. Doing so can give your children a sense of stability and consistency during an otherwise tumultuous time.
- Get informed about the legal process. Oftentimes, people have misconceptions or unrealistic expectations about the divorce process that lead to delays and disputes. To avoid this, take some time to talk to an attorney about your rights and look into state laws on topics like child custody and property division. Additionally, you should keep in mind that every divorce is different; good or bad, other people’s experiences are not necessarily going to be yours.
This article in the Huffington Post has additional tips for preparing yourself personally for divorce, like practicing self-care and avoiding social media. These suggestions can help you manage and recover from the emotional toll divorce typically takes on people.
Preparing for a divorce on legal, financial, and personal levels can help you avoid some of the pain associated with the surprises of divorce. If you have questions about how to do this, it can be helpful to talk to your loved ones, a counselor, and/or a family law attorney.