If you feel that you're ready to divorce your spouse, you may feel very unhappy and stressed out. However, before you officially file a petition for divorce, here are some things to do to ensure that you are prepared for the process and ready for your life afterwards.
Talk to a Therapist
While you might not have been able to convince your spouse to go to counseling, counseling may still be beneficial for you. Talking to a therapist can help you examine your marital situation to determine whether you really want a divorce in the first place. They can help you better understand the role you have played in your marriage and they can give you the emotional support you need during this stressful time. They can also provide you with mentally healthy coping techniques that can help you as you go through the divorce process.
Look for Financial Documents
You are going to need to have some idea of what your financial situation will be like after the divorce. To help you, look for financial documents in your home that belong to your spouse. Any information about their retirement accounts, banking accounts and other assets can assist your attorney in understanding what the household finances are like; as a result, you can get better advice regarding how much support you may be eligible for or how much alimony you may have to pay.
Once you have a better understanding of what your finances might be like when the divorce is final, sit down and create a budget for yourself. Determine how much you might be able to pay for rent on a new place and other expenses. Get an idea of whether you'll have to pick up a second job or live in a smaller place than you imagined. This way, you can be financially prepared for your new life.
Track What You Do with Your Children
If you foresee a custody battle between you and your spouse, it is a smart idea to start keeping some record of everything you do with and for your children. For instance, if you are responsible for all their school clothes and other expenses, start keeping those receipts. Keep a journal of every time you take them to doctor appointments, school activities, band practice and drama rehearsals. This information will bolster your claims that you are already the primary caregiver to your children and may help you during divorce proceedings.
Use the tips in this article to help you prepare yourself for a divorce before officially filing for one. Enlist the help of a reputable divorce attorney (like those at Albert & Slater PS) in your area so that you know what to do next.