Planning a divorce is never an easy thing to do. You will need to pay attention towards a variety of things during the divorce planning stage. It’s important for you to work according to a pre-made plan so that you can avoid frustration when you are filing your divorce papers. Here is a list of 10 steps you can keep in mind to get through this process with minimum to no hassle at all.
FIGURE OUT THE APPROACH
First of all, you need to have a clear understanding of the approach that you are going to take before planning your divorce. During this stage, it’s extremely important for you to remain calm so that you can minimize any emotional damage. It is better if you can sketch out a rough timeline and determine how you are going to proceed with the legal matters. It’s always easier to do these things when you have some sort of action plan to follow.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR LIVING SITUATION
After the divorce, you will need to figure out where you are going to live. This question should be at the top of your divorce checklist as well. First of all, you will need to plan out your budget. Consider drafting a budget spreadsheet, listing your main living expenses and housing costs. If you are going to live with your children, you will have to take that into account when creating this plan as well.
CREATE A PLAN FOR YOUR KIDS
As a responsible parent, it is extremely important for you to create a plan for your little ones. You need to pay special attention to your kids' psychological wellbeing – you’ll be the one to help them cope with the upcoming stress. If possible, keep all communication with your ex-partner cordial and friendly, even if it is for the sake of your kids. Carefully go over the basics when planning the divorce: where will your kids live, who will have primary custody over them and any visitation rules that you’d like to implement.
GET HOLD OF ALL THE PAPERWORK
When it comes to the divorce process, you need to pay special attention towards divorce-related paperwork. If you haven’t obtained all the required legal paperwork, you will need to contact your attorney and get hold of them ASAP. If you plan to move to another state after the divorce, you need to consider where you plan on submitting your papers. Keep in mind that most states have their own specific residency requirements.
GET THE HELP OF A PROFESSIONAL
More often than not, you will not be able to take care of both the legal paperwork and the emotional stress of separation on your own. Consider seeking the assistance of an attorney. A professional you hire will be able to assist you with many different legal aspects of your divorce such as divorce settlement agreement and child custody. A divorce settlement agreement can also include information about alimony payments, debts, child custody and marriage counselling.
ASK A CLOSE FRIEND FOR ASSISTANCE
Take extra care of yourself and pay attention to your emotional needs. Contact a close friend or family member – anyone who you feel the most comfortable with – to help you cope the extra stress. If you find yourself heaving breakdowns, feeling lethargic or apathetic consider seeing a psychotherapist. They are qualified to provide the much-needed help dealing with the emotional impact that can take place as a result of divorce. The biggest favour you can do for yourself is to learn to relax, let go of stress and let the people closest help you through these trying times.
START UP A DIVORCE CHECKLIST
Don’t make any hasty decisions, take the time to thoroughly weigh all your options. Try not to let your emotions guide your decision making and always try your best to stay organized during the process. Consider starting a divorce checklist to avoid the hassle associated with the entire process. Keep all divorce papers in one place so that they can be easily accessible and easy to manage. Give yourself time and be patient with the decision-making process.
ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCIAL PAPERWORK
Gather and organize all of your financial paperwork. Make several copies of each and every paper to use whenever needed. Make a spreadsheet listing all financial assets that you own, including the cars, houses and any personal belongings. Start filing a separate sheet for all your loans and payments, mortgage and credit card debts.
KEEP HOLD OF PERSONAL VALUABLES
When you are going through the process of the divorce, it is better to keep set aside some of the most important personal belongings to take with you when you leave. Collect your jewellery and personal valuables, photographs and any memorabilia that holds a special significance to you. It’s better if you can collect them beforehand: if your divorce becomes heated, you may not be able to get hold of those personal items for some time.
CONSIDER A COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE
Last but not least, you should think about going for a collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is more a case of troubleshooting and problem-solving. A collaborative divorce process is informal, saves your time and energy and allows for a free and honest exchange of information between you and your spouse. Each party hires their own attorney and then has four-way meetings, sometimes joined by a child custody professional or an accountant. Both parties then sign a "no court" agreement, which later makes filing the divorce papers a simple, uncontested procedure.