How do I begin Preparing for my Divorce?

There are many things you need to do to prepare for a divorce.  While it may seem like an impossible task, take each step one at a time and you will get through this difficult time of your life.

  1. Gather all important papers.  Remember that you must share these with your spouse, so make copies if you are worried that your spouse may try to hide assets or inflate the amount of debt you have. You will need pay stubs for both of you, bank statements, insurance policies, titles to vehicles, investment information, etc.
  2. It may also be helpful to have birth certificates and social security numbers for your children.  This information will be needed for child support purposes. Remember to provide your spouse a copy of each.
  3. If your children’s health insurance will be provided by your spouse, get a copy of his/her health insurance information.  If your children will be living with your spouse, make sure that they have all necessary health information, such as medical conditions and allergies.
  4. Although divorce is a private matter, inform your children’s teachers and advisors about the divorce.  You do not need to share any details, other than one parent has moved out and that you want to be informed if your child begins having problems in school.  Some children find a divorce a relief as the fighting will be over, while others are hurt and angry and may act out.
  5. Talk to your children, together if possible, about what is happening.  Be honest, but you do not need to share any personal information.  Remember that your children love both of you and do not say anything negative about your soon to be ex spouse.  Your children will have a hard enough time accepting the divorce without hearing that you hate your spouse or wish they were gone.  Be respectful of your children’s feelings.
  6. Make a list of what you want from your home.  While your spouse may not agree with everything, it is a place to start.  Remember that the more you and your spouse agree on, the quicker and cheaper your divorce will be.  Keep that in mind before you fight over who gets the ugly, expensive vase someone gave you as a wedding gift.
  7. Learn ways to relieve anxiety and stress.  Make sure you get enough sleep, eat right and exercise.  All of these will help you deal with the stress as you prepare for your divorce.

Everyone has their own ideas about how to prepare for a divorce. Some think of ways to hurt their spouse the most, but if you do this, you will only be hurting yourself and your children, too.  As you prepare for your divorce, remember that an amicable divorce is best for everyone.

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