Divorce can be one of the most distressing experiences in a person’s life. Once you have made the decision to get a divorce, you will need to prepare. Here’s a simple divorce checklist for what everyone should know:
Many households rely on two incomes to support their lifestyles. Whether you earn your own income or have been dependent on your spouse, you will need to have your own financial resources.
- Open your own individual bank account.
- Eliminate or scale back expenses to what you absolutely need and save the rest. This is also the time to reduce or eliminate credit card spending and pay down debt.
- If your spouse does not voluntarily agree to provide support, you can petition the court for alimony and/or child support.
- Take steps to protect any of your financial assets.
- Begin gathering financial documents that will support your case.
- Gather pay stubs and other verification of income and assets (both yours and your spouse’s).
- Organize utility bills, mortgage information, car payments, medical bills, childcare costs, school tuition, and other financial liabilities.
Another way of getting yourself prepared is by organizing all documents and correspondence related to the divorce in a binder and calendar.
- Use the calendar to keep track of visitation dates and appointments related to your children. This information could be used to document your spouse’s level of involvement in your children’s lives.
- Use a binder to hold all divorce-related documentation.
- Use the binder to also hold correspondence between you and your spouse or your attorneys.
- Keep documents in chronological order.
Preparing yourself mentally is one of the most overlooked, but vital aspects of preparation.
- Find out as much as you can about the divorce process. It will help you know what to expect and reduce your anxiety.
- Remember that every divorce is different, so while it’s good to seek encouragement and support from others who have been there, don’t expect your outcome to be the same.
- Make a plan that follows the steps of the divorce process and mark off important milestones on your journey. This will help you remain focused on the things that are in your control and give you an idea of what to focus on going forward.
- You should maintain your normal routine as much as you can. Stick to your work and home schedules. If you have children, keep their meals, school, and extracurricular routines as consistent as possible.
- Keep regular eating, exercise, and sleep habits.
- Continue to spend time with family and friends.
Divorce is can be both the end and a new beginning. Preparing yourself, getting organized, and keeping routines will help you successfully manage this challenging phase of your life.
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the divorce process and negotiate the best possible settlement for you and your children. Contact Sauls Law Group or give us a call at (770) 212-9168 to set up a free consultation.