Divorce can be a slow, painful, and expensive process. That’s why it’s important to prepare in advance so you can navigate the process in the best way possible.

Do you not know how to prepare for divorce? In this article, we’re sharing divorce preparation tips and best practices, so you can make the entire process more peaceful, affordable, fair, and drama-free.

How to Prepare for Divorce: Mentally, Physically, and Financially

Divorces are difficult, even when prepared for. But by following these tips and best practices, you can prepare the best you can mentally, physically, and financially.

Deal With Emotions First

Most of the time when a couple decides to divorce it’s for a less than pleasant reason. In fact, the most common reasons for divorce include infidelity, lack of communication, and constant arguing.

It’s likely there are strong emotions behind your decision to get divorced, emotions that can make the whole process ugly if left unchecked. Chances are you and your partner will be dealing with a lot of intense feelings like anger and resentment. These toxic feelings can make divorce negotiations difficult.

That’s why you should meet with a counselor, therapist, or professional divorce coach. They can help mentally and emotionally prepare you for the road ahead.  They can also help both you and your spouse gain the clarity you need to work together toward a settlement.

Choose the Right Time & Place to Tell Your Spouse

Before you tell your spouse you want a divorce, you should determine where they are mentally and emotionally. Are they just as unhappy as you are, or will your desire to get divorced completely surprise them? Knowing how they feel ahead of time will help you determine how you should approach the situation.

Once you’re ready to tell them, you should figure out the best time and place to do it. If you have children, make sure they’re not around so you can have the conversation in private.

If you’re going through a stressful situation like sickness or financial problems, it’s best to wait until things have calmed down before telling them. If you don’t, you’ll be adding extra stress to an already stressful situation.

Choose a place where you can easily have a calm discussion. And make sure you both have plenty of time to talk things through. Open communication is key to the entire divorce process.

Tell Your Partner the Right Way

The way you tell your spouse will ultimately shape how your entire divorce process unfolds. That’s why it’s best to be as gentle and firm as possible. By doing this, you can show you’ve made up your mind without upsetting them.

If your spouse has no idea you want a divorce, try to be as empathetic as possible. You’ve had plenty of time to mentally and emotionally prepare, but your spouse hasn’t. Give them some time and patience to come to terms with what’s happening.

Do you have children? If so, tell your children as a team. Show them that you still care about each other and that they won’t lose either parent throughout this process. 

Get Organized & Educated

Divorce isn’t just difficult, it’s time-consuming. It requires arranging a ton of information like income tax returns, W-2 forms, bank statements, and more. The more organized you are, the easier it will be for your divorce attorney to assist you.

Divorce is multi-faceted, which means it can impact your life in many ways, especially if you have children. You should study up on things like child support, spousal support, personal finance, conflict resolution, and more. You don’t need to know everything, but knowing the basics about these things will help you in the long run.

Get Your Finances Together

One of the most important parts of divorce preparation is getting your finances in order. Take inventory of all your assets.  You need to know what you have and what you’ll owe, or else you’ll have no idea of what you’ll be left with after things are settled.

After that, you’ll need to make a financial plan. Divorce is an expensive process, and without one, you run the risk of ending up broke.  Find out how much you’ll be paying or receiving in support, and plan a budget that can balance that.

Here are some general tips for preparing finances:

  • Start putting money aside
  • Open a separate bank account
  • Reduce unnecessary spending
  • Close your joint accounts

These simple steps can make a huge difference in your financial future. If you do these things early on you can reduce the financial stress of the situation. 

Set Realistic Goals

You need to know what you want out of your divorce before you start proceedings. If you don’t have this answer, you won’t be able to set expectations throughout the divorce process.

That’s why you need to think about all of your legal and financial goals, and make sure they’re as realistic as possible. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up regretting or resenting what you end up with.

Know Your Legal Options

There are many ways to go about your divorce. You can get a divorce using litigation, arbitration, mediation, or even do a collaborative divorce. The divorce option you choose will greatly impact the outcome of your divorce, so it’s best to talk with a lawyer to find out which option is best.

If you and your partner are open to it, mediation may be your best bet. Mediation has a 75% resolve rate, and it can lower the costs and stress associated with divorce. It’s also a great option if you have children as it leads to a more amicable divorce.

Final Thoughts on How to Prepare for Divorce

Navigating a divorce isn’t easy. There’s a lot of financial and emotional stress involved in the process. But knowing how to prepare for divorce can help you alleviate stress and handle the process in the best way possible.

Are you in need of legal assistance? Not sure where to turn? Contact us to get expert legal help.