How to Prepare for a Divorce: A Helpful Guide

Laura E. Shapiro -

If you are thinking about getting a divorce, it can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. During this tumultuous time, it is important to consider all your options.

Divorce is difficult for everyone involved. That is why taking the steps to prepare yourself for divorce will make the process smoother and hopefully less adversarial.

If you are wondering how to prepare for a divorce, we can help. Here are some important steps to take before getting a divorce.  

Wedding cake cut in half

Be Sure Divorce Is What You Want

Marriage is difficult. And it is normal for married couples to disagree from time to time. 

When there’s trouble in your marriage, emotions run high. It is easy to make a quick decision you may later regret.

Make sure you take the time to be sure a divorce is what you want. Once you serve divorce papers, your spouse may pursue it even if you change your mind.

Divorce is final for everyone involved, so be sure this is the path you want before making the final decision to end your marriage.

Evaluate and Protect Your Finances

You want to have a clear picture of where you stand financially. One of the priorities in divorce proceedings is the equitable distribution of assets and debts.

In order to be sure you receive your fair share, you should understand what you own and what you owe.

Make a list of all of your assets. Gather documents related to these assets and make copies. You may need them for your attorney later.

Determine what you owe. It does not matter whose name the assets and debts are in if acquired during the marriage

One easy way to get a picture of your marital debt is to get a copy of your credit report. Gather statements and make copies for every open account with a balance.

Educate Yourself 

Divorce can be messy and complicated, and it affects every area of your life. 

It is an emotional and challenging time to go through. To get through your divorce successfully, the more you understand about the process, the better.

It is smart to educate yourself on property division, spousal support, child support, child custody, personal finances, and more.

You do not have to be an expert in any of these areas. But knowing the basics and what to expect will help you get through the divorce process and move on to a new life ahead.

Find the Right Attorney 

Even if you and your spouse agree on everything, you need a good attorney. You should never act as your own attorney.

This is a complex, time-consuming process. You need an expert attorney who can protect and advise you of your rights.

Meeting with attorneys can help you find someone you feel comfortable with. You will need to tell your attorney everything and the law requires full disclosure

It is important to speak candidly with them about every issue that pertains to your divorce.

As you meet with attorneys, feel free to ask them anything you are wondering about. A few questions you should ask include:

  • What is your retainer fee and hourly rate?
  • Whom will I be dealing with about my case?
  • How much paperwork will there be?
  • What are the chances of litigation vs. mediation?
  • How will we stay in touch?

You want to choose an attorney you can trust. You do not need them to be a friend or a therapist. But you do want to have a good working relationship with your attorney.

Set Realistic Goals

Many people begin the divorce process without thinking about what they want. Ask yourself what are one or two things most important in your divorce.

If you do not know the answer, you may not end up where you want to be when it is over. Set some realistic goals for your divorce.

Many people getting divorced think they want it all or set impossible goals. Setting impossible goals will not help you and may leave you feeling disappointed.

So, as you prepare for your divorce, make sure you identify your top goals. When you are realistic and fair, you are more likely to get what you want most.

Protect Your Children

Divorce is hard on children. One of the best things you can do as you prepare for a divorce is to prepare your kids as well. 

You want them to go through the process as healthy and happy as possible. Make sure you and your spouse decide how to break the news to them.

They do not need to hear rumors about your divorce from a friend or family member. Although you will be going through a difficult time yourself, your children will need all the emotional support you can give.

Some kids will blame themselves, so you have to assure them it is not their fault. If your child’s world is about to change, be honest with them.

They have the right to know if they will be moving, changing homes, leaving friends behind, or more.

Make Peace With Your Divorce

No one goes into marriage thinking it will end. But divorce happens to good people every day. 

Getting a divorce does not make you a failure or a bad person. It simply means your marriage did not work out, and it is time to move on.

Dealing with your emotions and accepting the situation will help you make peace with your divorce. If you have children, this is important for them as well.

It will not happen overnight, but with time, you will see there is life after divorce.

How to Prepare for a Divorce

Preparing for your divorce is not fun, but it is one of the smartest things you can do. The more prepared and informed you are on what to do before filing for divorce, the smoother the process will be.

Does that mean your divorce will be simple and easy? The answer is no. But knowing how to prepare for divorce will help you feel more confident throughout the process.

One of the most important steps you can take is to choose the right divorce attorney. If you are in need of a divorce attorney in the Denver, CO, area, our highly experienced team at Shapiro Family Law is ready to help. 

We can review the details of your case and offer advice on the best path forward. We believe in offering each client our individual attention, compassionate counsel, and vigorous advocacy. Do not wait any longer. Contact us today.

Laura E. Shapiro

Laura Shapiro is an award-winning Family Law Attorney with 40+ years of experience. Laura practices Family Law exclusively with her primary focus being divorce and child custody matters.

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