Thinking About Divorce? Take These 5 Steps to Prepare Yourself
Updated November 22, 2023
If you are considering divorce, there are a lot of important decisions that you have to make. One of the most important is getting yourself properly prepared. Divorce can be a source of positive transformation, but you need to support that through careful preparation and smart decision-making.
Step One: Get Your Finances in Order to Prepare for Divorce
A large percentage of the divorce process involves dividing and distributing assets and debts. We refer to this as property division. To appropriately prepare, collect all your financial paperwork in advance. This typically includes bank account statements, credit card bills, debt-related documents, and investment reports. This is particularly useful if you suspect that the financial components of your divorce may become contentious. Assembling these documents in advance will save you the time and stress of trying to collect copies later.
Step Two: Talk to Your Spouse About Your Decision
If you have decided that you want a divorce, you need to decide how to break the news to your spouse. This is an important part of preparing for divorce.
Before scheduling a sit-down, determine in advance what you want to say. This will reduce the likelihood you’ll be distracted during the discussion. Prepare to remain calm and gently but firmly state your intention, using “I” statements whenever possible. (For example, “I think this is the best decision for me” instead of “I can’t be around you anymore.”) If your spouse is willing to be amicable, you could even broach the possibility of a collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce bypasses the stressful and time-consuming divorce litigation process.
Step Three: Consider Living Arrangements
Once a divorce is underway, the question of living arrangements tends to come up almost immediately. There’s no law saying that you and your soon-to-be former spouse can’t live under the same roof during the divorce process. The advisability of doing so depends on your particular circumstances. If the conclusion is that one of you should leave the marital home, we will guide you through how to handle financial and child custody issues in the interim.
Getting familiar wth the basics of divorce terminology can also help you prepare for divorce. For example, before you head to step five, it can help to understand the basics of the “legal language” around divorce.
Step Five: Speak with a Divorce Attorney to Prepare for Divorce
You will want to engage a law firm that focuses its practice on family law to represent you during your divorce. Our attorney, Meghan Freed, wrote about the advice she gave to a friend searching for a family lawyer. You can read more about her top three tips: (1) look for a divorce attorney focused on your goals, (2) meet with a family law firm with lawyers experienced in all three divorce methods, and (3) make sure you and your firm have the right vibe and are compatible.
After you retain a divorce attorney, you’ll want to meet with her, explore your options, and make a plan. You’ll want to learn more about the options for divorce — including mediation and collaborative law. You’ll learn what to expect, and get any questions answered. Then, you’ll make a plan for how you’d like to proceed.
Once you accomplish these steps, you are in a good position to start the divorce process. While there is no “perfect” time to end a marriage, proper preparation will make it easier for you to achieve the best outcome for you.
If you are thinking about getting divorced in Connecticut, contact Freed Marcroft today. Our experienced and supportive family law team will review your circumstances and help you make the decisions necessary for a fulfilled and independent future.
Freed Marcroft’s attorneys guide select clients through the legal aspects of divorce and family law issues while remaining mindful of their overall wellness.
To discuss our helping with your situation, contact us today here.