Just as the transition from single to married life can be a big adjustment, going back to single life can be just as challenging. Not only are you dealing with emotional turmoil and stress, but you must also consider the additional impact on your children, finances, living situations and more. If you and your spouse are legally separating or filing for divorce, here are a few next steps you can take to ensure you’re prepared for the months ahead.
Start with a Plan
When it comes to legal separation or divorce, one of the first and best things you can do is create a plan. Outline items that need to be addressed immediately. Additionally, start thinking through those long-term decisions that will need to be addressed later.
Items spouses should consider include:
Children – If you and your spouse have children, start thinking about when and how you will tell them about your divorce or separation. Will you tell them together? How will their lives change both short term and long term?
Property – In addition to determining your living situations, you and your spouse will also need to discuss other aspects of your property and its division. Will you keep the house? Will you move? Are there other pieces of property (cars, stocks, bank accounts, etc.) that need divided?
Finances – Individuals should evaluate their income as well as debts. How will both spouses financially support themselves? Will one need to request child support or maintenance?
Relationships with others – Who needs to know? Who will tell who? Again, if children are involved, how will both parents handle relationships with their in-laws?
Coping – Both spouses may be processing several different emotions. What actions can be taken to ensure both parties move forward?
Tell Your Children and Family Members
Telling your children and family about your divorce is a difficult, yet important next step. When you start the conversation is just as important as how. With children, it’s best to set aside time for both parents to break the news. Experts recommend honesty and that parents avoid open displays of conflict or hard feelings. This also applies to other family members.
Finally, give all individuals time to adjust to your news. Divorce can be difficult for children to understand. Family members, and even friends, may question your decision. Remind yourself and them why you’re filing for divorce and moving on.
Educate Yourself After Filing for Divorce
Another step you can take to help ease this transition is to learn more about the divorce process. Research family law attorneys in your area. It would be of great benefit to both parties to know and understand their rights as well as what comes next. Gathering necessary documents and information to use throughout your divorce proceedings will not only help you, but it will also help your attorney. This includes financial information such as tax returns, pay stubs, insurance policies, household bills and more.
Navigating divorce has no “one size fits all” approach. However, educating yourself on the options available to both you and your family after filing for divorce will aid in the process.
Contact an Attorney
Finally, both spouses should consult an attorney. Not only can they provide valuable legal knowledge, but they can also provide additional resources and support. Divorce presents difficulties for all parties involved, but that doesn’t mean it has to come with additional burdens and stress.
Contact the office of Strieker Law Firm to learn more about how they can help you with your divorce or separation.