Preparing for Divorce

Preparing for DivorceLife is full of many twists and turns. Things we spend a great deal of planning for do not always work out the way we initially hoped, and major events can have a serious impact on our life and livelihood. When possible, dealing with the changes that inevitably affect even the best laid plans is made easier by being prepared. Divorce is no different, and the entire process can be much easier for everyone involved in it if parties are able to take the time to adequately prepare for what the process might entail. While it is impossible to predict exactly how divorce will affect you and your family, there are some common steps people can take when beginning the divorce process to ensure that it causes as little disruption as possible.

Select the Right Attorney

Much like we do not always get along or connect with people we meet in our daily lives, not all divorce attorneys will be a good fit for you. You will very quickly establish a confidential relationship with your divorce attorney that will likely involve you sharing personal, sometimes intimate details about your life and finances. Often times, you may need to reveal things to your attorney that even family members and close friends are unaware of. It is essential that you are honest and forthcoming with your attorney about every aspect of your divorce in order to allow your attorney to advocate for you in the best way possible. Therefore, it is extremely important that you and your divorce attorney are a good match.

Finding an experienced divorce attorney as opposed to an attorney that sometimes handles divorce is an important step in selecting the right attorney. Your attorney should make you feel comfortable with discussing the various aspects of your divorce and you should be confident that your divorce attorney is committed to representing you in the best way possible. Interviewing several attorneys can help you select the one that is the best match for you, and can also help you begin preparing for some of what divorce will entail.

Be Organized

The divorce process is different for everyone, and it is nearly impossible to be prepared for everything that will arise during a divorce. However, if you have made the difficult decision to pursue divorce and have chosen an attorney that is a good fit for you, you will have the knowledge you need to prepare for many situations that will arise.

Not only can being prepared help you experience less stress during the divorce process, but it can also save you time and money because it allows your attorney to use their time more efficiently. One way to prepare is to organize all of your important financial documents as soon as possible, especially in a divorce where finances are heavily intertwined. By collecting and organizing documentation such as bank account statements, credit card bills, mortgages, retirement account information, and other important information regarding sole or joint assets, you can easily access this information whenever the need for it arises. Providing this information to your attorney in a timely fashion allows your attorney to have important information without having to contact you to track it down. This can expedite the divorce process and save you money on related legal fees.

Take Steps to Take Care of Yourself

No person is an island that can successfully navigate everything on their own, no matter how strong they are. Many people going through a divorce need help beyond what an attorney can provide. For instance, while an attorney can certainly provide emotional support during the divorce process, most are not qualified to provide mental health services to their clients. If you are having an emotionally difficult time during your divorce, you should be comfortable enough in your relationship with your attorney to discuss the possibility that you may need to see a mental health professional to help you deal with some of the emotions you might be experiencing. Often times, attorneys are able to provide helpful information about these types of services for clients because an experienced divorce attorney has worked with many clients facing the same needs and struggles.

Managing your stress level and adhering to healthy lifestyle choices are also important steps in taking care of yourself during a divorce. Additionally, divorce might seem like the perfect opportunity for you to get your dating feet wet again. Sometimes, family members and friends will encourage you to “get back into the game” and try to start building a new relationship. While those encouraging you to do so may have the best of intentions, it is important to remember that only you know when you are ready to start considering relationships again. Take the time to be aware of your own emotions and try and recognize how that impacts your ability to consider any new relationships, even if they are only casual. Acknowledging that you need time to heal can be an important step for many people experiencing divorce.

Be Financially Responsible

Divorce can have a significant impact on your financial situation. Not only does it usually involve shouldering the financial burden of costs that were once shared, but it could involve alimony and/or child support. If you find yourself looking to move, moving expenses can also be costly. While it may seem like a great idea to take the grand vacation you have always dreamed about, many people facing divorce find themselves better off in the long run by be financially conservative until they understand exactly what type of financial situation will result from the divorce process. Once you are more aware of the individual financial effects of your divorce, you can budget for that vacation and any other items you might have the ability to splurge on.

Communicate with Your Attorney

Again, one of the most important keys to successfully navigating the divorce process is to communicate openly and honestly with your attorney. If you have specific concerns, you should address them as soon as possible. Doing so will help you take the steps discussed above and handle many unexpected obstacles along the way. Your attorney may have recommendations for financial planners, tax advisors, and other outside experts that can best handle issues your attorney might not be qualified to address. Additionally, open lines of communication help keep stress levels down and productivity up. Both of these help make any stressful situation easier to deal with. If you have made the difficult choice to pursue divorce or have questions related to the divorce process and how it might impact you, contact Scott J. Stadler to schedule a consultation where you can find out more about options that might be available to you.