Thinking of divorce but unsure of where to start or what information you might need? Throughout this decision, wavering between living a single life and staying married can be a very repetitive and often a torturous process. While some may know divorce is the answer right away, others may have to go through much longer of a deliberation.
Gaining Clarity About Divorce
Divorce can be a very big decision so know that this feeling is very normal. The best way to gain clarity is to do research and educate yourself in what is possible for you and your family.
This is where we can provide assistance.
We have come up with five tips to help you understand the divorce process and better prepare you if you do choose to go down that route.
Organization Is Key
Starting your divorce preparation early will be very beneficial because in the coming months you will be making many decisions very quickly. Keeping organized will ensure a higher quality negotiation on your behalf.
Financial organizations can go a long way in your case as well. Working with your current spouse or on your own to make a list of assets, debts and financial records can ease that process and ensure nothing is missed. Within financial records, paperwork such as tax returns, government statements, insurance/retirement policies, bank statements, marital properties, joint account numbers, retirement accounts and credit card statements should be included in the collated records.
If you are not on good terms with your spouse, take the time to gather as much information as possible and copies of relevant documents as well.
Lastly, negotiating the divorce without a qualified professional can be very unwise — all you should be doing in the organization phase is getting organized and preparing yourself and your children (if applicable) for the next steps.
Budget, Save, Repeat
A very common misconception of divorce is that it will create a new source of income for you. While that could be true in the future, the current reality is that divorce is a very significant expense for both parties.
Setting aside the obvious lawyer fees and other legal costs that come into play, living two separate lives can result in double the number of bills. In some cases, the possibility of paying two mortgages or two hydro bills is high, so making sure you have the means to pay for that is very important.
It is helpful to sit down and write down all of your expenses to get a handle of where you stand and where you may have improvements to make.
Stay Professional and Civil
As much as the other person may have wronged or betrayed you, do not let your emotions get the best of you. Before you decide to file for divorce, during the divorce proceedings or even after the divorce is final, staying civil is key. There is nothing to be gained from being aggressive and rude; frankly, this behaviour usually only results in increased legal costs.
Divorce is a difficult process, both emotionally and physically and the easiest way to take care of yourself is to remain clear and have a rational head throughout.
Keep The Conversation Going
As lonely as divorce may feel, remember you are not alone. Family and friends can be very supportive especially in circumstances like this. If available, communicating with those closest to you can be a very good way to ease your mind. There are also many alternative means of communication that can help support you. Divorce support chats and groups can give you the conversations to help guide you through these challenging times.
Be sure to recognize the hardships you may be going through and speak through them in a healthy and constructive way. It will do wonders for your case and your well-being.
On the other hand, if you are finding that those you are turning to are not being supportive, it may be wise to get a third party involved, such as a marriage counsellor, or therapist, to get a neutral opinion on your situation.
As much as the divorce process might make you want to hide away in your house and not come out, know that being a bystander will not help you get the justice you deserve.
This is your case just as much as it is your partners and you should be taking control of your situation. Your divorce attorney is there to help guide you and get the results you want as your advocate but be ready to make big decisions yourself. Being proactive and playing an active role in this process will help you achieve the outcome you desire. You hold the reins in the process.
Here at Epstein & Associates, we know how challenging this process can be and we want to take some of that weight off your shoulders. For more information about how a divorce process works or have any questions about filing for divorce, contact us today.