Whether you’re contemplating a divorce or already in the process, you’re likely facing a great deal of stress. According to 2018 statistics, nearly half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce or separation. Divorces come with a series of financial, legal, and familial decisions, each with potentially significant impacts. With that in mind, here are some tips for navigating the divorce process.
Know what you want
Before starting the process, it’s paramount to decide what you want, what you don’t want, and what you need. Deciding what you want to get out of the divorce process will provide you with clarity, but requires you to be brutally honest with yourself.
Because obtaining a clear view of your relationship can be difficult, you should enlist the help of an objective third party by searching for a therapist near you. A simple search like “therapist NYC” will provide you with a multitude of options. Meeting with a therapist will allow you to talk through your options, help you feel more empowered, and give you the confidence to move forward with the process.
Because divorces can be overwhelming, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. Along with your therapist, you should have a go-to support network including your friends and family. Staying positive when you’re able and keeping yourself busy with activities you enjoy go a long way in fighting stress and depression.
Build your team
Finding a reliable therapist is a great place to start when building your team, but you’ll also need legal help. Search for an attorney in your area who specializes in family law by asking friends and family for recommendations or by searching online. Even if you and your spouse are communicative and don’t have any serious irreconcilable differences, hiring a divorce lawyer is necessary. To find the best potential divorce lawyers for your case, read reviews and testimonials left by past clients in situations similar to yours.
Because the ruling in your divorce case can have a significant impact on the rest of your life, take the time to find a lawyer whom you trust and feel comfortable talking to about your situation. Your lawyer should have your best interests in mind and will attempt to deter you from making rash decisions.
After learning about the circumstances surrounding your divorce, your lawyer will guide you through your legal options. Divorces can involve one of three primary processes: mediation, collaborative practice, or traditional litigation. Each process has benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential for your lawyer to help you decide which option is best for your family.
Organize financial records
If you don’t already have an organized record of your finances, it’s time to start. Obtain a free credit report from a website such as Credit Karma to determine where you stand financially. Next, gather all recent tax returns and available financial statements on assets you own and debt you owe. If you share a bank account with your spouse, open a new account in your own name.
Organizing your financial records will help you save billable hours before hiring an attorney. In addition, it’ll ease the process of creating a financial affidavit, which is required by courts during divorce cases.
Although the process of getting divorced is something that nobody hopes to experience, it’s something that almost half of all married couples will be a part of in the United States. Emotions run high when going through a divorce, and it’s completely normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed. All in all, the most important step of getting divorced is remembering to take care of yourself and choosing the best professional support network and options for you.