How Do I File for Divorce? Tips to Make the Painful Process Less Stressful
Going through a divorce is never an easy process. Many losses are experienced when ending a relationship, such as the loss of a home, security, finances, comfort, etc.
During this process, emotions are running rampant and initializing the legal proceedings can feel very stressful. In an effort to ease the pain and stress of the divorce, follow these steps before filing for divorce.
Hire a divorce attorney. It is critical to hire an experienced attorney who you feel comfortable with to guide you through this process. There will be many decisions that need to be made and many sensitive topics will be discussed, such as financial assets and custody agreements. Having a professional who is familiar with the process will take stress off of you and help with the necessary tasks every step of the way.
Determine what divorce approach is appropriate. Working with your attorney, you will need to decide if you’d like to use a traditional approach or collaborative approach. While each process is very different, each has their place and your attorney will help you determine what approach is best suited for your case.
Get an idea of where you stand financially. It is important to know where you and your spouse stand financially, and understand the assets you have between the two of you. This means you need to determine what you own and what you owe. Being that one of the primary goals of a divorce is equitable distribution of your marital assets, knowing where you two stand is critical to ensure fair divorce negotiations.
Determine your goals for custody of your children. If you have children, it will be important to make this process as easy as possible for them. The last thing they need to be part of is a drawn out, hostile custody battle. Make sure that you determine reasonable and fair custody agreement goals for yourself before beginning the process. This will help speed the divorce process along during the negotiation phase.
Prepare for post-divorce life. While it may be painful thinking about, preparing for your post-divorce life is extremely important in achieving a less stressful divorce process. Consider putting together a post-divorce budget to help you know the anticipated bills you will have each month. Understand your cost of living and be prepared for a potential income drop post-divorce. You may also want to establish credit in your own name. The goal is to establish a good credit score independently so that you will have an easier time making large purchases in the future such as a home or car. Most importantly, you need to address the emotional stress the divorce will cause. Going through a major life change is never easy and is not something that should be taken lightly. It is critical that you take care of yourself first and foremost, to make sure you can emotionally handle the challenges ahead of you.
To learn more about filing for a divorce or the divorce process, contact our experienced divorce attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss. We’re ready when you are, to guide you through the process every step of the way.