Divorce is often an overwhelming and stressful process for the whole family.
With thoughtful and careful planning, you can take steps to prepare yourself for the road ahead.
Gather relevant documents
You need to have an accurate picture of your current financial situation with your spouse as you prepare to separate your lives and finances. Start with income information for both spouses, including pay stubs and tax returns for the past few years. Make a list of all joint assets, including bank accounts, investments and life insurance policies. Organize documents related to pensions and retirement funds. Gather records on mortgage payments and refinancing for real estate. Collect information regarding jointly owned vehicles such as cars, boats or farm equipment. Debts are as crucial as assets, so be sure to compile a detailed list of all joint debts such as credit card debt and medical debt.
Create a support system
As you go through the divorce process, you may experience stress, uncertainty or grief. Even if you are confident that divorce is the right decision for you and you are happy about separating from your spouse, you might have emotions that you do not expect about the end of your marriage. Find a support system of trusted friends or relatives that you can turn to for mental and emotional support during the process.
Throughout the divorce, try to remain civil and polite with your ex. If your case goes to court, you do not want any negative behavior from a flared temper to influence the judge.