Divorce and separation are life changing decisions that should be taken with time and caution. If you have been thinking about leaving, you might be thinking of all the daunting financial and emotional obstacles that you will have to overcome. Although this can be a tough process, there are certain things I suggest you consider before telling your spouse that you want a separation. Having a proper exit plan is key, and the steps below will ensure that you are confident in your decision to change your life for you.
You need to be prepared
Prepare yourself for the coming months. This means taking a step back and planning without your emotions clouding your judgment. Preparing yourself also includes accepting some possible realities. Realize your standard of living is going to go down. It’s more expensive for a couple or family to live in two households rather than one.
1) Consult with a lawyer
Finding an attorney can only benefit you throughout this process. They will help you with all of the logistics and legalities of separation that you probably hadn’t thought of yourself. If you’re ready to take this step. Feel free to call our office to schedule a consultation.
2) Prepare yourself financially
This includes becoming involved in your financials, saving money for yourself, and thinking about your job and your future. You should also talk to your bank to open your bank account and secure a credit card. All of these considerations will allow you to plan and process how you can support yourself financially once you are single.
3) Consider all your housing options
Consider moving in with a friend or family member, or maybe even a short-term lease. Thinking about this prior to your separation can ease a lot of stress when it comes time to move out.
4) Think about your children, if the separation involves them
Will you be able to agree on a custody arrangement without lawyers or the court becoming involved? If not, this would be a good time to find an attorney if you haven’t done so already. Brainstorming possible scenarios can help prepare you for multiple outcomes and having a lawyer by your side will only make that easier.
5) Gather important documents
Get together all documents, evidence, and important personal property that you will need from the house ahead of time. Copy all important documents in your home. Even the most trivial documents can be a big part of your case so try to collect as much as possible.
6) Find emotional support
Build a trusted support group of friends or family. Consider finding an individual therapist. There may be times when you can lose sight of what you want out of this divorce, so having a support system to assist you emotionally is key. However, beware having too much outside perspective. Remember this divorce is about you, so choose people who want the best for your happiness.