How to Prepare for Your Divorce

Knowing how to prepare for a your divorce can help you get through the separation process as quickly and painlessly as possible. Sometimes it’s not just about financial preparation. In many cases, it’s also about emotional preparation. Divorces, after all, are rarely easy.

Learning How to Prepare For Your Divorce

You know it’s coming, so knowing how to prepare for your divorce is vital to your long term success. I say that because a divorce can really set you back, both financially and emotionally. Preparing yourself means taking certain steps to ensure that you’re ready for what’s to come–that you can get through all of the bad stuff and emerge on the other side relatively unscathed (or, at least, ready to start your new life, however that looks).

In many ways, the cause of your divorce is immaterial. It just doesn’t matter all that much when it comes to preparing for your divorce. Granted, that’s not universal advice. There will be some instances where the nature of your divorce will absolutely dictate how you prepare.

Maybe it would be better to just say that every divorce is different because every couple is unique. These preparation steps are meant to be somewhat universal, but your mileage may vary based on, well, your divorce and your situation. One thing is for sure, though: you really, really should prepare for your divorce. It’s not something you can just let happen and expect the best possible outcomes from. Knowing how to prepare for your divorce is critical.

Financial Preparation for Divorce

There are a couple of key ways that you can financially prepare for your divorce. Again, each step will depend largely on the individual (or couple) going through the divorce. And things will vary depending on whether you’re the one initiating the divorce or not. But, generally speaking, here’s what you can do:

  • Set up your own checking account: This is an absolutely vital step for anyone looking to get divorced. Having money that is exclusively in your name protects you from a variety of issues (namely, the other party spending your money or depriving you of resources). This is a relatively easy thing to do–and can be done quickly–so it’s definitely worth taking the time to do.
  • Paying down debt: Debt can be a funny thing in a divorce. Sometimes that debt is split down the middle. Sometimes decisions about debt have already been made (if, for example, you signed a prenuptial agreement). In some cases, paying down your debt might be the smart thing to do–but don’t be shocked when your household’s overall debt is simply split down the middle.
  • Bolstering your personal savings: Just like you should have your own checking account, you should really also have your own personal savings account. It never hurts to give it a little boost before your divorce.
  • Talk to an accountant: If your finances are somewhat complicated, or even if you just have a hard time understanding them, you should talk to an accountant to get your bearings. Your finances are going to change–maybe drastically. It’s a good idea to know what change is coming.

How to Prepare Emotionally

Preparing financially and preparing emotionally for a divorce are two totally different things. Sometimes you’ve been preparing emotionally for years before you actually sign the paperwork. But you’re going to be single (or more single) now, and that’s going to take some adjustment. There are definitely some things you can do to take care of yourself:

  • Start a routine: For the most part, routines can be comforting. They’re easy to fall into. Starting a routine that focuses on yourself–and not your partner–can help prepare you for the coming divorce.
  • See a counselor: There’s no better way to shore up your emotional well being than to see a counselor or a therapist. These professionals are someone you can talk to–someone you can vent to–without needing to feel guilty. They will also offer emotional coping mechanisms to help get you through the trials of divorce.

Sometimes an Attorney Might Be Necessary

It’s not entirely out of the question that hiring an attorney who specializes in divorce will help you best prepare for that divorce. Every situation is different, but attorneys are necessarily often enough that they make pretty reliable money on divorces. In other words, you wouldn’t be alone if you decide you need an attorney.

In other cases, getting out of a marriage might be more complicated than you think. If you feel like you need help getting a start on your new life, it’s okay to seek that help. Get whatever help you need and make any preparations you can. The more prepared you are for your divorce, the easier that divorce will go.

But no two divorces are alike, so in the end you need to do what’s best for you.

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