The new year is in full swing. For many of us, this means making a fresh start and leaving the stresses and disappointments from last year in the past. People are eager to turn the page. For someone in an unhappy or unfulfilling marriage, this could mean filing for divorce.
January is often referred to as “Divorce Month,” as there seems to be a spike in divorce filings once the holidays are over. If you are among the many people considering divorce in the coming weeks or months, there are some steps you can take to prepare.
- Gather financial documentation. Be sure you understand your whole financial picture. Review account activity, add up expenses, track income, and gather data on marital and shared assets. Having this information can make it easier to negotiate and make informed decisions regarding property division, child support, and spousal support.
- Talk to an attorney. The legal process will depend significantly on the details of your marriage, your marital assets, and whether you have children. To understand more about your options and possible legal strategies, you can talk to an attorney about your case.
- Start (or continue) keeping track of parenting habits and schedules. If you anticipate a bitter custody battle or you plan to request primary custody, you must prepare to make your case. Details on the existing dynamic between your child and both parents can be helpful, as can records of any abuse, neglect, or dangerous behaviors.
- Curb social media use. During a painful split, people can wind up seeking any evidence they can to hurt each other. Often, this includes information pulled from social media. People use pictures, status updates, location check-ins, and even private messages to show that someone acted improperly or made false statements. As such, you should consider stepping away from social media.
- Set your priorities. Determining the issues that are most important to you now can be wise. If you wait until you are in the heat of the divorce, your judgment could be clouded by stress, anger, guilt, or fear. To avoid this, set your priorities regarding divorce-related matters like child support and property division when you have a clearer head.
Divorce may not be easy, but there are ways to make it easier. Taking these steps to prepare for the process can accomplish this.