The question “Should I get a divorce?” is a very traumatic one for most women. After all, you did not say your vows in anticipation of your commitment ending one day. Unfortunately, roughly half of first marriages end in divorce and second marriages fare even worse with up to 65% of them ending.
If you are in this situation, it’s crucial that you plan ahead before presenting your spouse with divorce papers. Making a divorce checklist can help you stay organized and ensure that you are protecting yourself and your children as you go through the divorce process. If “Should I get a divorce?” has turned into “How do I get a divorce?”, here are the first three things you should do.
Put the Kids First
If there are children involved, you must always do your best to put them first before, during, and after the divorce process. This means you should avoid fights with your soon-to-be ex in front of them and do whatever you can to make the experience less traumatic for them. If your spouse is a good parent, try to work out a fair schedule so you can both spend time with the children after the divorce.
Take care not to say negative things to them about their parent – this is a time of high emotion, and it can be difficult to keep your feelings to yourself. However, your kids will be better off in the long run if you and your ex-spouse can find a way to get along and provide two separate, yet stable, homes for them.
Make Copies of Important Documents
Before you voice your desire to file for divorce, you should get an accurate estimate of finances, savings, and other important issues. It’s always a good idea to make copies of any documents you can find that may be an issue in your divorce. This includes bank, retirement, and investment account statements, mortgage documents, credit card statements, vehicle titles, and any other relevant information.
Make copies of paper documents as well as data stored on your home computer and keep them in a safe place, such as at a friend or family member’s home.
Hire a Good Divorce Attorney
No matter how amicable you believe your divorce will be, it’s vital that you retain an experienced and professional divorce attorney to support you through the process. A ‘friendly’ divorce can easily turn ugly at a moment’s notice, and if you don’t have the proper representation, you and your children could bear the consequences.
Contact an attorney before you announce that you want a divorce and follow his or her advice on how to proceed. Choose an attorney that has experience in the type of divorce you believe you will have. For example, if your divorce involves young children and a business you’ll have to divide with your spouse, look for attorneys who have handled these types of cases before. Make sure you feel comfortable with your attorney and are confident they’re putting your needs first.
Getting divorced, no matter the circumstances, is a stressful and life-changing decision. However, it does not have to ruin you financially, and you can recover and move on to a happier and more fulfilling future. If you are getting ready to divorce, make sure you do the above three things first, and your process will be much smoother.
Steve has been writing legal-centric articles for several years now. Joining Herrig & Vogt in 2019 as the Content Marketing Manager has offered him to expand on his writing in personal injury, family law, and much more. Steve strives to offer the public advice on various laws covering a variety of practices.