While you may have realized for some time that divorce was inevitable, getting through the process is rarely easy. In addition to the emotional turbulence that generally accompanies the end of a meaningful relationship, there are a number of difficult considerations inherent to any divorce. For those who are not prepared, each challenge can feel like a monumental obstacle, and the cumulative impact of many such difficulties is often overwhelming.
As you approach the end of your marriage, you may feel like you are at the mercy of the courts and the legal process. The reality, however, is that you have a great deal of control over how prepared you are for divorce, and solid preparation can greatly reduce the stress and negative impact on your life. There are a number of relatively simple steps that you should consider:
- Choose the type of divorce: Of course, every finalized divorce ends with two people no longer married to each other, but there are a variety of ways to get there. Objectively analyze your relationship with your partner, understand the level to which you believe you will be able to work together through the process and prepare for the type of divorce that will likely be necessary. If amicable cooperation is probable, you may wish to pursue a mediated or collaborative divorce; if not, begin to brace yourself for litigation.
- Organize your money: Financial considerations play a significant role in many aspects of divorce, including property division, spousal maintenance, and child support. Gather tax returns, bank or investment account statements, stock holdings, and any other available financial documentation. Keep track of income and expenses so you know what you have, what you owe, and what you need to maintain your lifestyle. If you are able, start putting money aside without being deceptive. You may need the funds to retain an attorney, or to put down a security deposit on a new place to live.
- Set positive goals: Divorce should not be focused on winning and losing. No matter what troubles led to the deterioration of the marriage and the negative feelings that no doubt affect your outlook, the end result of your divorce should be the opportunity to move forward and live a happy, healthy life. As such, develop goals for your divorce that will help you do that. Making decisions or demanding concessions out of spite for your partner may feel like an emotional victory at that moment, but your long term happiness is more important than a stinging insult to your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
- Put your children first: If you have children with your spouse, you must be able to compartmentalize any hostility between the two of you. Your children’s health, well-being, and happiness depend upon it. Decide amicably, if possible, what sort of custody arrangement and visitation schedule will best meet their needs and work toward developing a suitable plan. Like your own personal goals, the long-term objectives for your children should be positive, and include meaningful relationships with each parent.
- Hire a qualified professional: Choosing a divorce attorney early in the decision-making process can save you a world of trouble and grant you peace of mind at a difficult time. Hiring a lawyer does not necessarily mean you plan to attack your divorce with “both guns blazing,” so to speak. Instead, it means you are choosing to work with an experienced legal professional who understands the complexities of divorce and who is equipped to help you make decisions based on positive thinking, while protecting your legal rights.
As with any difficult process, divorce involves much more than the few simple ideas discussed above. Fortunately, the experienced Kane County divorce attorneys at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. fully understand the challenges you may be facing and are prepared to help. Call our office today at 630-377-7770 to schedule your free consultation. We will work with you every step of the way as you look to create a more positive future for yourself and your family.