How to Get Ready for Divorce: A Comprehensive Checklist
Divorce can often be a long, complicated, and emotionally draining process for those going through it. Preparing for divorce is essential in order to make sure you have the information you need and are aware of the financial and legal matters associated with it. The first step is to build a team of trusted advisers to provide guidance such as attorneys, therapists, and financial advisors who specialize in dealing with the unique challenges associated with divorce.
Second, identify all personal property including bank accounts, investments, credit cards, retirement funds, household items, cars, and other debts that will need to be divided between you and your spouse. Additionally, use this time to gather all relevant financial records including income details; tax returns; mortgage documents; wills; insurance policies; prenuptial agreements (if applicable); life insurance policies; health insurance policy information; pensions; business ownership interests; stocks/bonds/other investments; Social Security numbers; loan information of any kind. Lastly, remember this is a difficult time for you so it is important to take care of yourself as much as possible-seeking counseling or talking with friends or family members about your feelings may be very helpful during this time.Get a Team Together
Divorce can be a devastating event, leaving those affected feeling isolated and overwhelmed. The deep emotions of sadness and sorrow that accompany such an event can make someone feel like they want to retreat into bed and never come out again. While it is normal to take some time away from life to process and grieve, it should not be relied upon as a chief coping mechanism as it's important to stay connected with other people who are going through similar experiences.
Finding the right support system is essential in the journey of healing and self-care after a divorce. Whether it's joining a divorce support group, meeting with friends for coffee, or having encouraging family members always available for moral support in tough times, having someone to relate to can make all the difference. No one expects you to take on this difficult situation alone which is why getting a team together is so important in order to provide motivation, care, and empathy throughout your recovery process.Emotional
When dealing with strong emotions such as grief, sadness, anger, or guilt, it can be helpful to talk to someone close to it. Whether that's a family member or a friend is fine for looking for comfort in a moment of need. But if you are experiencing more intense distress that is affecting your life, I strongly recommend seeing a professional counselor or minister. This is particularly important when facing major traumas like abuse or substance abuse-related issues; having some deep healing may be the only way to process the associated pain and get better in the long run.
Often times friends can be a great source of solace and support but it can become overwhelming if they are also trying to help solve your problems as well. In this case, you will want an unbiased opinion from someone who has been trained in helping others deal with difficult situations and assist in working through them. A professional counselor will provide this knowledge and more; such as developing coping mechanisms, teaching practical skills, and offering moral support during the toughest times.Physical
Divorce is difficult for anyone, and physical health often takes a backseat during the difficult process. At times, it can even seem impossible to care for your body when you're trying to juggle so many emotions and complexities. During a divorce, our bodies switch into fight-or-flight mode, and increased levels of adrenaline and cortisol course through our systems. These stress hormones are necessary for short bursts to help us make it through tough situations, however, prolonged exposure is unhealthy and leads to further stress in our physical states.
By taking the time to care for yourself throughout the process, however hard or inconvenient it may feel, you will be doing yourself a huge favor in recovering healthily. Join a gym class with a friend or take a walk at lunch with a work buddy; often small but meaningful steps such as these can have great effects on both mental and physical well-being. Eating well despite hectic schedules will also strengthen both immunity and mood. Taking these minor steps demonstrates that self-care should never take a backseat when trying to undo the knots of life's challenges--especially during emotionally taxing times like divorce.Legal
Divorce can be a complicated and emotionally draining process. Even in cases of a mutual divorce, having an attorney who understands family law and divorce regulations is necessary to ensure that all parties involved are abiding by the laws, rights, and responsibilities related to separation. A professional is also able to explain the legal jargon in easy-to-understand language and advise what options would best suit each individual case.
However, it's important to remember not to use your attorney as if they were a weapon for waging war against your former partner. It's crucial that you keep your cool during adversarial proceedings, as taking legal action could result in lasting emotional damage between couples or even their children. Ultimately, winning the house, furniture or pet isn't worth losing your dignity and permanently damaging relationships with others. A lawyer will help you make informed decisions about your future, but ultimately it's up to you to mobilize yourself toward positive closure for all involved.Financial
Financial turmoil is a very common consequence of divorce. It can be particularly distressing when you don't have the right financial advice or don't know how to make the best decisions for yourself and your future. This is why talking to a professional financial planner is essential during this time. Experienced advisors who have worked with other clients going through this same difficulty can provide invaluable guidance and support for making wise choices in these areas.
It is also important to take an honest look at all of your insurance policies, from life insurance to homeowner's insurance, and make sure that they are still adequate for your current situation. Working closely with a knowledgeable local broker will help you get the best rates for coverage that meets your needs as well as any special considerations given your unique circumstances. By taking proper care of your financial concerns now you can ensure greater peace of mind down the road.Talk to a Lawyer
An experienced divorce attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can provide guidance and offer advice throughout the entire process. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.