Divorce is emotionally taxing, and the process itself is rarely simple. There is, unfortunately, more to getting a divorce than filing some paperwork. Any divorce lawyer can tell you that there are some essential steps you need to take before you officially file for divorce. Remember: you have to look out for your best interests first, and to that end, here are some critical steps to take before you file for divorce.
Be certain divorce is what you want
While it may seem obvious that divorce is the solution to your marital problems, the decision to get divorced is an emotional one, and you shouldn’t make it if you’re already feeling overly emotional. Before you look for divorce help and file divorce papers, make sure you have exhausted all your options. After you serve the papers, it can be difficult to go back if you change your mind. Some things can’t be undone.
Create a budget
You have been living with your spouse for many years, and you’re probably not used to having a single income anymore. Eventually, you will need to talk with your spouse about extricating your finances. You will need to create a plan dictating which of you will pay for certain debts and bills as you go through the process. However, right now you need to worry about your own financial situation. While you can’t achieve financial independence overnight, you need to make sure you have access to some money that only you control. These funds could prove necessary if your spouse reacts poorly to the divorce.
Figure out your living situation
After you’ve decided that divorce is the right choice for you and you’re ready to pay for this next step of your life, you have to figure out the living arrangement for you and your family. You have many options, including staying in the same home as your spouse during the divorce to save money. Decide on what your goals are for your living situation both during and after the divorce. You can also ask a family lawyer what your best options are.
Find a divorce law firm
Speaking of divorce lawyers, the last thing you need to do before you decide to file is find a divorce law firm. Divorce lawyers will help you through the entire process and make sure your best interests are protected every step of the way. They can answer your questions and give you legal advice so this difficult period of time can become a little bit easier.
Infidelity is the leading cause of divorce, with more than 21.6% of respondents reporting it ended their marriage, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Family Issues. No matter what the reason is, make sure you know for certain that divorce is right for you. Then, create a budget, figure out your living arrangements, and find a divorce law firm to help get you through the process to come.