One of the many reasons I am fairly good at what I do on DreamsRecycled is that I have lived through almost every pre, during and post divorce mistake you can make. It was for me like the majority of people my first divorce (hopefully last but who knows). I was ill equipped both from bad advice and my very foolish belief that good will always conquer evil in a justice system that made my divorce a living hell. I feel that if I can even help one person navigate this heinous process in a better fashion my website is a success, so here is my must do list of things to do BEFORE you even file, before you discuss it, align your ducks in the hope you won’t need to but this little list could save you dollars, tears, heart ache and horrendous permanent outcomes.
1. Make sure you have access to all bank accounts, financials, tax documents, mortgage papers, profit and loss statements, run a credit report on yourself and spouse to make sure that there are no additional loans cards properties you know nothing about (yes it happens) copy everything and start a file, you hope it won’t happen but often financial documents go missing.
2. Research divorce laws in your state regarding division of assets, child custody, alimony, child support, know roughly what you are liable for or entitled too, information is power.
3. Find a good lawyer, look at their reviews, DO NOT google best divorce lawyer in whatever town, all you will get is the one with the best SEO, best website and google ad words. If you have divorced friends ask them for a recommendation, use our divorce resource directory and ask around, use the I need a great divorce lawyer for a friend, excuse don’t feel you need to tell anyone your plans.
4. Meet with at least 2 or 3 recommended attorneys in your area most when asked should give some kind of free consultation.See you appears to care, who will fight but be fair, someone you can see getting you the best outcome not the longest one. Only accept legal advice from a qualified divorce attorney.
5. If your spouse is self employed, or owns his own company, you will probably have to have their business forensically audited, valued, you may get talked into not doing this, my personal advice prepare for this to be part of the plan.
6. Emotionally prepare your self for a roller coaster of emotions, you will have good days, bad days, but once you have decided this is your only way forward, brace your self for what’s to come. I wish when I was going through my divorce someone had told me that for the most part divorce settlement should be handled as you would a business deal, there are calculations, guidelines, laws in place in all 50 states and provinces.
7. Find a quiet time place alone preferable when kids not home to sit your spouse down and talk about your decision to divorce. Try to do it in calmest way possible, not easy but try when possible to stay dignified, fair and kind.
Lastly I most certainly do not advocate divorce as a get out of easy marriage card, especially if you have children you really need to explore all other avenues of counselling, and therapy to try and save your marriage before you head down this path.The flip side of course is though that we all only have so many years on the beautiful planet and if you can’t be happy together if you can’t feel content fulfilled loved, divorce is at its simplest just two people who can’t be happy together choosing to be happy separately and isn’t that what life is about, loving laughing and joy?
Divorce will unfold in many a way, peoples reactions, will shock you, people will sink to despicable levels and some people will surprise you above and beyond by doing the right thing, but as a persons reaction is so unpredictable, you can’t be too careful and if you arm your self with facts and a good legal team you will always be better prepared for the road ahead.