Thinking about divorce is hard; going through the process is even harder.  The choices you make now can have an impact on the rest of your life.  It is important to think things through and to get the advice you need for your particular situation.  Every situation, every couple, and every divorce is different.  Being better prepared for your individual situation will make the process much easier.

Stress

During a separation and divorce, it is important to protect yourself financially as well as emotionally.  Unless you have gone through a divorce before, it’s hard to know how you will react to certain issues you may go through.  Even if you have gone through a divorce before, each relationship and situations are unique.  Things that may trigger a certain response in one individual may not cause much reaction in another individual.  Separation can make people feel like failures, cause anger, frustration or disappointment.  Some may feel guilty or responsible for the split, even if they are not the actual cause.  The financial and emotional strain can cause high levels of stress in even the most grounded individuals.

Stress Reduction

Separation and divorce are major disruptions in your life.  It may seem impossible to be rational.  Try your best to remain calm and to take one day at a time.  Help is out there for you and with careful thought and planning, you can prevent yourself from wasting time and money as well as emotional suffering.  Friends and family are a great resource for you to lean on.  They can provide emotional support and help with getting you through daily life if you become overwhelmed and stressed.  Trained professionals are also helpful and available to provide guidance and assistance.  Mental health professionals can help get you through the emotional strain you may feel while attorneys are available to be your advocate and guide you through the divorce process.

Negotiations

Do you have a prenuptial or antenuptial agreement?  While these types of agreements are becoming more common, many couples do not have them.  Because of this, negotiating the terms of your separation and divorce will be necessary.  If possible, you and your spouse should try to discuss a separation agreement, support, child custody and property rights.  If it’s difficult to talk with your spouse about these issues, you still need to think about them and how you want things to go once you do separate.  If there is a possibility it will be difficult to come to an agreement with your spouse, you may need an attorney help protect your interests.

Expenses

Separation and divorce can be expensive.  But,there are things you can do to keep costs down.  If you need to hire an attorney, try to choose one who does not bill hourly.  If they do bill hourly, avoid having long conversations or meetings with them.  You can do this by being as organized and informed as possible.  Make sure you have all your documents, questions, and concerns prepared ahead of time when meeting or talking with your attorney.  Do your homework by using the library or internet to do light research of your own.  Whatever you can do on your own will cut down on expenses and help you make decisions that could help avoid costly litigation.

You Will Get Through This

The separation and divorce process can be overwhelming.  As you begin the process, keep in mind the following:

  1. The more you know, the better.
  2. Stay involved. Don’t just hand over your case to your attorney.  The more you participate in the process, the better you will feel and the more helpful your attorney can be.
  3. Think of it as a business deal. Dividing property, child support, and alimony negotiations should be done with as much business sense as possible.  Don’t let emotions control the process.