Pre-Divorce Preparation Tips
If you are considering or seriously pursuing a divorce, before filing you can take some steps to prepare yourself and protect your interests. Here are some tips on how you can prepare and protect yourself before getting divorced.
- Talk with your partner. If possible, try not to blindside your partner. Having an honest discussion prior to filing can help reduce conflict and stress.
- Reflect on why your marriage is ending. Considering the reason for your divorce can help you process your emotions and accept responsibility for your part in the divorce (if any). As you reflect, remember the positive parts of your relationship, too; this can help make it easier to remain civil. Complimenting your partner or verbalizing the good can also help bring bright spots to what can be a painful process.
- Gather needed documents. When it comes to property division, you will need a list of your assets and debts, so you (and your partner) should obtain copies of tax returns, W2s, pay stubs, bank accounts, etc.
- Create a budget. You should create a marital budget with your current, shared monthly expenses so that you can better understand what your projected expenses will be once you separate or divorce. A budget can also inform how to save or prepare for paying for divorce-related expenses.
- Consider what post-divorce life will look like. More so than just working out your finances, think about what else in your life will look different, such as employment, child pick-ups and drop-offs, free time, and/or holiday seasons.
- Identify your support network. You shouldn’t go through a divorce alone. Reach out to friends, family members, and other trusted individuals for support. Whether they act as a listening ear, offer you advice, help you process your emotions, or help distract you, reliable supporters are very beneficial for helping you before, during, and after your divorce. It is also important that you recognize who is not in your corner as you should be careful who you confide in. Prune your social media followers as well as who you spend time with.
- Avoid social media faux pas. Social media posts can be used against you in family law matters, including divorce and child custody issues. Even if your soon-to-be-ex is posting or badmouthing you, resist the urge to reply or vent yourself. As you engage on social media, act as if everything you post will be reviewed in court, since it could be. A post you make about a new dating partner or a missed child pick-up could be misconstrued and used against you by opposing counsel.
- Set your intentions. Before the divorce ensues, decide how you want to conduct yourself and how you can manage your emotions. With emotions running high and lots of changes happening at once, it’s important that you remain true to yourself. If things are getting heated, take the high road and don’t let your soon-to-be-ex get the best of you. Also, be kind to yourself and give yourself grace when needed.
- Consider what you want. Take a look at your assets and finances and think about what’s in your best interest. Do you want to stay in the family home? Are you able to make ends meet alone? Who gets the family pet?
- Confront your fears. Facing life post-divorce can be scary. If you’re feeling reticent, think about why. Are you worried about being a single parent, dating again, or being alone? Identifying your fears can help you face them more confidently, as well as ease your worry about post-divorce life.
- Accept that this process will be emotional. Even the most amicable divorce can be emotionally disruptive. Before, during, or after your divorce, you may feel uncomfortable, uncertain, angry, sad, relieved, overjoyed, etc. Don’t try to “shove down” or lie to yourself about what you’re feeling. Feel what you need to feel.
- Prioritize self-care. Whether you take time to relax, take up journaling or meditation, or try therapy or a support group, you should make sure you take care of yourself.
- Prepare your children. If you are a parent, your children will also be affected by the divorce. You should plan to discuss the upcoming divorce and how it will affect your family dynamics. If possible, you and your partner should address the children together for continuity. You may also want to consider a collaborative divorce to make it easier on the children.
- Talk with our trusted attorney, Melissa M. Williams. Speaking to a professional can help you better understand your legal options. If you have questions or concerns, our attorney can help you file, understand more pre-divorce steps you can take, and protect your interests.
Contact Our Divorce Law Firm Today
At Melissa M. Williams, we are dedicated to helping clients minimize conflict and maximize solutions. Because getting divorced can be emotionally, mentally, and financially draining, we devote ourselves to being compassionate, professional, and efficient. Our attorney exclusively practices family law, which speaks to her wealth of experience in handling divorce cases.
If you are considering divorce, reach out to our team as soon as possible. To get in touch with us, call (512) 271-2063 or contact us online. We have the experience needed to help you prepare for the process ahead.