It is important to mentally, emotionally, and financially prepare yourself and your family for a divorce.
Below are 10 helpful tips to prepare for a divorce.
- Collect as much information as possible before filing for a divorce. Find and make copies of all statements regarding assets, debts, and incomes for you and your spouse. Keep this information organized and easily accessible.
- Change passwords for different emails, accounts and files that you want to remain personal and inaccessible to your spouse. DO NOT post things about your spouse, the divorce, or your children on social media.
- Do not put ANYTHING in writing that may later be used as an exhibit against you, including text messages, e-mails to your spouse or any other family member, journals, or letters to anyone regarding anything that may be related to your divorce.
- Create a budget that you will need to live on after you are separated from your spouse.
- Start to look for a job, or a better job, so that you can support yourself and your family once you no longer have two incomes to live on.
- Take all personal property that you really want when you leave the house, including jewelry, personal items, copies of family pictures, holiday items, and other knickknacks. You may never get an opportunity again to have these items if you leave them behind, and a judge may not care much if they are missing or what sentimental meaning they have to you. You may also forget what personal items are in the house. If you cannot take everything, at least make a detailed list of what it is you want.
- Collect copies of credit applications filed in the past year by you and your spouse. There may be important information on these applications, including the amount of income your spouse states he or she makes in order to obtain credit.
- Consider getting a therapist for you and/or your children. This is a difficult time and it may benefit you to have extra emotional support.
- Review all assets and insurance policies where you have listed beneficiaries, and review your will. Although some of these items cannot be changed during the pendency of the divorce, you will want to make changes once it is finalized.
- Keep the kids out of it. To the very best of your ability, do not expose your children to the negative emotions you have towards the other parent, do not bad mouth the other parent, do not talk about financial issues in front of your children, and keep them sheltered as much as possible. Your children will already be experiencing difficult emotions in this process without having to experience your emotions as well. The less they are involved, the better adjusted they will be to the divorce once the process is finalized. If you need help with this, consider contacting a personal therapist or parenting coach and discuss specific issues with an attorney.