Steps to Take to Prepare for Divorce

When to get a divorce

When you are going through a divorce, there are so many things that you need to think about.  Being prepared will make the entire process so much easier for everyone involved.  These are some of the steps that you need to take when you are preparing for your divorce.

  • If you have children, this is going to be a difficult time for them.  It is likely that they will have questions about what it means and whether they will still see their other parent after the divorce.  Be prepared to answer questions like this, but it is also important that the children do not get put into an awkward position where they have to choose between the two of you.  Do not insult your former spouse within the children’s hearing.

  • Make sure you protect your financial interests.  Keep copies of any documents that relate to your own finances, as well as any that were in joint names.  This includes bank statements, credit card statements, loan and mortgage documents, and more.  Proving your own personal income is important too, so keep your pay stubs.  This can have a significant impact on the final divorce settlement, including alimony and child support, so you need to ensure that everything is recorded accurately.

  • Find a lawyer that you are comfortable with and who is experienced in handling divorce cases.  You do not want to be dealing with the complicated paperwork on your own, especially if the custody of children is going to be an issue.  Make sure your lawyer has all of the documentation regarding finances, as he or she will need this in order to prepare your case.  If you don’t have your own private email account and phone number, now is the time to get one.  Contact with your lawyer needs to be confidential, and if you have been using a family email account, then your spouse may still have access to this.

  • If you envision that there will be a battle for custody, then you should start keeping a record of everything that you do with the children.  Also record the time that they spend with your spouse.  You may also need documentation to prove that what you have recorded is true, so be prepared to ask any witnesses (friends, teachers and so on) who have seen you with the children, such as at school events.  Remember that your spouse may also be doing the same, so there may be situations that you will be asked to explain, such as any arguments that have occurred in front of the children.

  • If you are intending to retain custody of the children, then do not move out of the family home and leave them with your spouse.  This suggests that you are either not concerned about who they live with in the future or that you think your spouse is a capable parent – both of which mean that a judge is unlikely to grant you sole custody.  It may be difficult, but staying would be for the best.
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