Divorce is a complicated, legal transaction. If you’re considering or have decided to get a divorce, it’s important to take some necessary steps to prepare for your divorce. Here's a checklist of five items to prepare for divorce.
1. Delay Significant Changes Until You Have a Signed Agreement
Unless there is abuse or an unsafe situation, in most states you are required to continue to live as you have been until the divorce agreement has been finalized. For example, you should continue to deposit your paychecks into joint accounts if that’s how you handled finances in the past. If you have separate bank accounts, then you can continue to keep it separate. If you’re living in the same house, you probably should stay in the house together until you get to an agreement. This can be stressful. Focusing on your children and getting emotional support will help you make it through this temporary period.
2. Inventory your Personal Property
List everything you own and co-own with your spouse. Gather relevant paperwork and take photos if necessary.
3. Organize and Separate Your Personal Information
There are many things to be aware of when going through divorce regarding your personal information. Here are some important items to think about:
4. Gather Important and Essential Financial Documents
Both you and your spouse need to collect the following documents during the process:
Start understanding your finances by making a monthly budget, raising your income, and putting an emergency fund in place. Then think about whether or not you're going to stay in the home or move out. There are many decisions to make so thinking about what you want in your future is helpful.
5. Hire a good Divorce Coach
All of this can be overwhelming. Working with an experienced divorce coach will help you manage all aspects of the complicated divorce process. A divorce coach will help you decide what professionals you need which may include a financial professional and an attorney, among others. A divorce coach will help you decide what divorce process is best for your individual situation. A divorce coach will help you determine your goals and priorities and understand how to negotiate for what you want. Divorces can be very complicated. There are so many decisions you have to make. Divorce coaches can help you avoid costly mistakes. Hiring a divorce coach protects you and reduces stress.
A divorce can be challenging, but you can make it through and thrive. Let go of expectations and take one step at a time. Use your checklist and support network and you can come out stronger.
Jill Barnett Kaufman is a Divorce Coach, Therapist, Parent Educator and Divorce Mediator. She is an experienced professional who helps clients discover new ways to resolve a variety of challenges when considering divorce, starting the process of divorce or are already divorced.