Going through a divorce can be quite challenging. Luckily, divorce rarely comes as a surprise. Usually, you have at least some idea that a divorce may be in your future before you end up meeting with lawyers and signing papers. If you want to make divorce easier on yourself, you will use this time to start preparing. Here are 7 preparatory tips to get you started in the right direction.
1. Meet with several lawyers.
Some people are so hurt when the idea of divorce comes up that they hire the first lawyer they meet in an effort to get things over with quickly. But the lawyer you hire makes a huge difference not only in the result of the divorce but also in how smoothly the process goes. Take your time to meet with at least three different divorce lawyers. Choose someone who not only has a good track record but who also make you feel comfortable and confident.
2. Talk to a friend.
As tempting as it may be to keep your divorce a secret until it happens, you should find at least one friend to confide in at this point. Talking about things makes them seem better. When you do officially begin the divorce process, you will feel more relaxed about it if you've already discussed the matter with a friend.
3. Start participating in an activity you love.
A big part of divorce is reclaiming your own independence and becoming the individual person you wish to be. You can start that process now, which will give you a bit more confidence when you do get divorced. Find an activity you love -- whether it's something you used to do or a brand-new activity you've always wanted to try -- and start participating.
4. Keep the peace with your spouse.
Unless you are in an abusive relationship, it is generally best to be as peaceful as possible when dealing with your spouse. If the two of you are able to get along well enough at this stage, you may both be able to agree to a mediated divorce, rather than having to go through court. You do not have to rekindle your relationship or give them false hope, but do be kind and respectful in your communication and do not attempt to sabotage them.
5. Meet with a financial advisor.
Getting your finances in order before a divorce will make dividing your assets a lot easier. But gathering your financial information can be quite a challenge. Reach out to a financial advisor in your area, and make an appointment. They can guide you in consolidating bank accounts, figuring out what debt you have, and so forth.
6. Focus on the big picture.
Throughout these trying weeks, try to remember that ultimately, you are doing the best you can for yourself by getting divorced. Try not to focus on what you are losing, and instead focus on what you are getting -- more freedom and a chance to start over. Come up with a mantra you can recite to yourself when you are feeling down.
7. Increase your income, if possible.
Divorce can get expensive, regardless of how the assets are divided. You have to pay the lawyer, and then once you are separated, your bills will likely increase. Between the two of you, you'll have to cover rent and utilities on two homes -- not one. Plus, you'll lose a lot of multiple policy discounts and such on your auto insurance. If you can increase your income now by taking an extra job or pursuing a promotion, do so.