Sometimes, it’s just time to move on from a marriage. The divorce process tends to be emotionally and financially draining. You could end up facing endless legal battles, lengthy custody disputes, and arguments over who wins what in the settlement.
No matter the reason for terminating your marriage, you don’t have to accept buckling up for a stressful separation. Here are eight tips to help make your transition to post-married life as smooth as possible.
1. Discuss the divorce with your partner
You can’t live in a miserable marriage forever. There comes a time you must face your spouse and tell them it’s all over. But how do you discuss such a sensitive subject?
You have to plan where, when, and how you would address the subject of divorce. This conversation should take place in a quiet, private area, far from children or domestic triggers. Consider meeting at a public location if you suspect your partner will react violently.
This conversation should also happen at a time when both of you are free from work obligations. Don’t pick a holiday, but settle on a time where both of you aren’t busy. The point is to choose a time when you’ll have your spouse’s undivided attention. Remember to stay calm and choose your words wisely.
2. Opt for a mobile notary service
Cutting the white ribbon comes along with tons of red tape. Some of the documents you’ll need to fill out include:
- Financial affidavits
- Divorce petition papers
- Marital settlement agreements
Most of these divorce documents need to be notarized. You could opt for online, mobile, or standard in-person notaries. Mobile notarization is perhaps the most hassle-free option.
A mobile notary will arrive at your address (home or work) and help you notarize your divorce papers. A mobile notary provider like Superior Notary Services enables you to avoid the hassle of heading downtown in the middle of your other pressing legal proceedings.
3. Prepare the required documents
The outcome of divorce cases largely depends on facts. You can hasten this process by gathering relevant documents before petitioning the case. Ensure you have copies of marriage, business, real estate, financial, and insurance documents.
To prove your case in court, you might require things like titles, appraisals, deeds, retirement accounts, tax returns, pay stubs, mortgage statements, wills, bank statements, and loan reports, to name a few.
As much as possible, try securing copies of all shared documents—whether it’s joint accounts or joint property.
Consider having backups of all the paperwork in digital format. Soft copies are easier to access and send. That said, you must be wary of ransomware attacks when storing digital documents. The last thing you want is to lose your court documentation to hackers in the middle of an already stressful time.
Sometimes, you might face difficulties obtaining paperwork from a stubborn spouse. Consult with your attorney if your partner denies you access to legal or financial documents.
4. Sort out your finances
Any divorce (even an amicable one) will affect your finances. According to US News, you can spend up to $15,000 on a divorce. The bulk of this cash goes to your attorney and to compile the required paperwork. You might need to set aside funds to cover the court fees as well.
A divorce might affect your credit score if you live in a community property state. Ensure you settle your share of the debt even after the divorce. You also have to decide whether you’ll be capable of paying the mortgage, utility bills, and house maintenance costs without a spouse’s income.
It’s advisable to open new accounts in your name after separating from your spouse. Don’t hesitate to talk to a financial advisor if you need help managing your new situation.
5. Control your emotions
Divorce can trigger all types of emotional upheavals. It’s normal to experience anger, devastation, depression, despair, guilt, and loneliness. These feelings only worsen if your children’s custody becomes a point of contention.
You have to tame your emotions when making divorce decisions. Every action you take should be based on everyone’s best interest rather than hurt feelings. Poor choices could end up costing you child custody or property control.
Handling your emotions isn’t easy, but it is doable. You can focus on activities that make you happy, stay physically fit, avoid confrontations, join support groups, and meditate to help manage unpleasant feelings.
If you don’t trust yourself to stay civil or reasonable around your ex-spouse, let your attorney handle the talking.
6. Enlist a qualified divorce attorney
Understanding your legal rights is vital when dealing with a divorce. Terminating your marriage will likely affect your finances, custody, real estate, and more. How would you divide your property? Who takes charge of the children? These are some issues you have to tackle when you separate from your spouse.
That’s why it’s advisable to work with an experienced divorce attorney. A reputable lawyer will help you understand your state’s divorce laws, follow the required steps, file your case, and, if need be, defend you in court.
Don’t settle for the first attorney you meet. Instead, seek recommendations from family and friends. You should speak with several lawyers before proceeding with whoever makes you feel most assured.
7. Consider your kids’ future
Divorce proceedings that involve children tend to be complex. Custody and child support are the most contentious things that arise when ending a marriage. You’ll need to consult with a family law attorney on how you will deal with:
- Legal custody – decisions related to children
- Physical custody – who stays with the kids
- Visitation schedules
Never put your children in a situation where they have to make choices based on loyalty to parents. In the case of contested custody, a court is best placed to deliver judgment. Remember that court decisions might not go your way, but you should respect them.
8. Get support
Going through a divorce can take a toll on your emotional, physical and mental well-being. If you aren’t careful, it might affect your productivity and daily life routine.
Don’t go through this painful process alone. Instead, share your feelings and issues with trusted friends and family members. Close family members will lend a hand and help you navigate this nerve-racking period.
Therapy is another option you can consider. A divorce therapist can help you cope with traumas and discover the positives of your divorce.
Divorce doesn’t have to be a messy process. Your separation can be smooth and beneficial, provided you’re organized. Use the above tips to facilitate a hassle-free separation from your spouse.