Once you have made the decision, or your spouse has, to file for divorce, you may feel overwhelmed by the decisions you face. You will need to prepare for the divorce financially and emotionally. Both will be difficult, but you have the inner strength to get through it. Counselors often advise people who are feeling overwhelmed to take deep breaths and small steps. Following this advice will help you to prepare for your divorce.
Even if you obtain a quick divorce, it may take months before everything is final. Realize at the beginning that the process cannot be rushed and you will be better prepared for your divorce. There are many steps to the process and you can prepare yourself emotionally by only looking at the next step instead of a long, long list of steps. Decide each morning to take one step and you will find yourself handling all of the decisions better.
You will need a lot of paperwork when you file for your divorce. Hopefully, you and your spouse will be able to work together long enough to gather everything you need and get an amicable divorce. Examples of papers you may need include bank statements, home mortgage papers, any other loans you may have, insurance, retirement plans and investment information. Each situation will be different, but this is a basic list of what you will need as you prepare for your divorce.
Preparing for a divorce emotionally is much tougher. While you may be feeling relieved that you are finally filing the paperwork, you will also feel sadness. If you were shocked by your spouse’s request for divorce, you may be in denial. You will feel anger and resentment. You will feel hurt. You may feel guilt. Allowing yourself to feel whatever emotions you are having is important. No one can tell you how to feel as you prepare for your divorce. Each journey is different and none can be compared to or will be just like yours.
If you will be the one leaving the home, you can prepare for your divorce by planning where you will live and beginning the long process of packing your possessions. Hopefully, you and your spouse will be amicable about this so everyone can have an easier time of dealing with the divorce. It may be easier on your children if they are not at home when you actually move items from the home. By all means, they should be told it is happening, but actually seeing it can be traumatic for them and is unnecessary.
You can spend weeks preparing for your divorce and still be caught off-guard about things you need to do or decisions that need to be made. Remember to take care of yourself first – exercise, eat right and get enough sleep – so you can handle the stress that will come from preparing for, and dealing with, your divorce. Breathe deeply and take one small step at a time and you will get through this difficult time much easier.