Filing for divorce is one of the toughest decisions in one’s life, so it should be a well-thought-out one. For married couples with children, it might entail additional challenges, as their divorce will inevitably be a mentally exhausting experience for their kids.
And while there is no recipe to make this process completely painless, there are a few things that you can do in advance to make it relatively less stressful and overwhelming for you, your spouse, and your children alike. In the article below, you will find the essential information about the necessary steps that you should take to prepare for divorce.
For instance, you should understand whether it is possible to go through with your divorce without going to court in the first place. If not, decide whether you need to hire a lawyer or not. Then, you should think through things like a parenting plan and pendente lite relief and collect all the marriage documents. Now, continue reading to learn more about things you should tackle before filing for divorce!
Consider Mediation or Collaborative Law
The first thing that you should do before filing for divorce is to consider the possibility of resolving your issues out of court. You should explore all available options and talk with your spouse about it. If possible, you should look into alternatives like mediation or collaborative law. This way, you may be able to save time and money while still being able to achieve the desired results.
Also, you might want to try negotiating a separation agreement with your spouse. If this works out, it will be much easier for you to establish effective co-parenting arrangements and make decisions that will benefit your children in the future.
Hire a Lawyer
When deciding whether to file for divorce, consider the potential benefits of hiring a lawyer. A qualified attorney can help you understand the legal process of divorce and represent you in court. They can also help you evaluate your legal rights and come up with an effective strategy for reaching an agreement with your spouse.
Decide Whether You Need to File for Things Like Pendente Lite Relief
When filing for divorce, you might need to ask the court to issue a pendente lite order or a temporary relief. It is a court order that allows you to protect your marital assets and property until the final divorce decree is issued.
As soon as you realize it is necessary, consult with a lawyer and file the necessary papers. The lawyer will tell you whether you qualify for such an order, and if you do qualify, they will help you draft and submit the necessary paperwork. This way, you will be able to get the relief you need in a timely manner.
Before filing for divorce, you should gather all the necessary documents. These may include your marriage certificate and birth certificates of your children, as well as tax returns, bank statements, medical records, financial accounts, and investment accounts. You might also want to collect records related to a property you own together with your spouse, parenting plans, and other documents that will be useful during the divorce proceedings.
If you plan to resolve your divorce out of court, you should collect evidence that will help you establish your credibility in court. For instance, you might need to collect text messages that you received from your spouse in order to demonstrate their inappropriate behavior. Also, you might want to collect emails and other correspondence between you and your spouse that show how your relationship has deteriorated over time.
Write Down Your Thoughts and Emotions
When filing for divorce, it is important to carefully consider your options. A good way to do this is to write down all of your thoughts and emotions with regard to your spouse and kids. Be open-minded and honest with yourself, even if it is painful. In the end, keeping a diary is a great way for you to express your feelings instead of putting them on hold or bottling up your emotions. Once you are done writing down your thoughts and feelings, you should feel more at peace and find it easier to think about the next steps that you should take.
For example, you might want to think about whether you need to negotiate with your spouse or hire a lawyer. You can also write down which arrangements you want to make regarding family matters like child custody, visitation, and child support. Moreover, if you will have to relocate after the divorce, write down where you want to go and why.
Filing for divorce is never an easy decision to make. But once you make up your mind, you should take a few important steps to prepare for it. For example, you should think through whether you need to hire a lawyer and do some research on the local laws and regulations. Then, you should collect all the necessary documents, establish effective co-parenting plans with your spouse, and start writing down your thoughts. Expressing your thoughts and feelings in writing should help you make decisions that will benefit you and your children in the future.
And if you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed, do not be afraid to get in touch with a mental health professional. It might be a bit costly, but it is definitely worth it, as it might help you get through it all with confidence.