The big D -- Divorce. It's never easy. Emotionally, psychologically, financially and legally, it can be one of the most complicated processes of your life. Starting on the right foot and managing the process effectively can make the situation much easier and ensure that you're prepared for every component of dissolving your marriage. Here, we've compiled a checklist to help prepare you.
The first thing you'll need on the road to divorce is an understanding of the legal and financial components of the process. Use the Internet, buy books or talk to friends who have been through the process. In the same way you research phone companies before making a commitment, you should thoroughly research the concept of divorce and understand the different options you have for dissolving your marriage. It's also important to research the laws in your state, as they can vary from state to state.
Grab your paperwork
To effectively navigate a divorce, you must have all the necessary paperwork to establish the exact value of your household's financial status. You'll need copies of every document dealing with debts or assets, property you own and any investments (including pension plans, insurance and stock options). Remember, if things are difficult and your spouse won't cooperate in giving you this information, you can request it directly for any accounts on which you're a cosigner.
Hire a lawyerGetting a good lawyer is critical to effectively managing a divorce. Even if you and your former partner are considering settling the divorce out of court, you should consult with a lawyer in your state just to make sure everything is covered. Use references from friends or call your local BAR Association for recommendations. Make sure you bring all the previously mentioned financial documents, and take time to write down your questions in advance so you maximize time spent under the clock of the lawyer's (expensive) hourly fee.Make a listEven as you're dealing with the financial and legal components of your divorce, you're also handling a huge emotional transition. Take time to make a list of characteristics or specific situations that reiterate the fact that your marriage isn't working. It's typical for us to romanticize the past and regret the good times, but to stay focused on the divorce and your new future, you'll need to revisit your real list of reasons the marriage failed.Lean on someoneDivorce isn't something you have to go through alone. If necessary, recruit a friend or family member to be your teammate through the process. He or she can help you prepare for your divorce, escort you to meetings with lawyers and, if the divorce is ugly, serve as the in-between person when you need to get paperwork or other items from your former partner. Don't be afraid to ask for help or support from those close to you if you need it.With knowledge, good legal counsel, a support network and paperwork that documents the financial and emotional status of your marriage, you are ahead of the game when it comes to divorce.
Source: Relationships & Love