Divorce marks the legal end of a marriage. If you feel your marriage is falling apart and seeking a divorce is the right step, there are certain things you can do to feel more in control of the situation. These actions are not necessarily difficult to do, but they can make a big difference in the outcome of the divorce proceedings. Let’s take a look at some of the things to do to help you get what you deserve once the divorce is final.
1. Get your financial info together ASAP
Finances are always a part of divorce proceedings. So, getting this information together quickly is highly recommended.
If it feels overwhelming, do not worry because most lawyers can issue you a financial statement that you can fill out yourself. You can sometimes find these online and at your clerk of court’s office as well. The sooner you fill the paperwork out, the sooner you’ll start to understand and better manage your finances, which will be important for the divorce proceedings.
2. Seeking a divorce? Take things one day at a time
Going through a divorce is stressful, but if you stick to your usual routine as much as possible and learn ways to reduce the stress, it won’t be nearly as difficult for you. Speak with your divorce lawyer whenever you need to and take the necessary steps regarding the divorce, continuing to move forward.
Even small steps matter and knowing you’re continuing the process provides hope that is important to your well-being. Otherwise, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and nervous much of the time, which helps no one.
3. Put together a divorce notebook
During divorce proceedings, you’ll receive a lot of paperwork, so buy yourself a three-ring binder, hole punch, and pen and paper. Keep everything you receive from your attorney in the binder and include enough paper to make notes along the way.
The more detailed your records are, the better you can respond if you get asked questions or must provide something to your soon-to-be-ex’s lawyer. It helps you become more organized, which helps you feel more in control of everything going on around you. Plus, it’s all contained in one place, so finding a specific paper is easier than if the paperwork is scattered around a bunch of different places at home.
4. Use a calendar or day planner
During divorce proceedings, you’ll have lots of meetings and maybe even court appearances, not to mention other types of appointments. Keeping track of everything you have to do is a lot easier when it’s written down. Make sure you take a look at the calendar daily so you don’t miss anything important.
Above all else, write down everything you’re expected to do during the proceedings. Calendars or day planners help you to stay organized, which is yet another way to restore your sense of control.
5. When seeking a divorce, be proactive
Unless this isn’t your first divorce, you likely won’t know what to expect from start to finish. Do some research on the divorce laws where you live and try to learn what you can expect along the way.
If you know what’s going to happen next, you’ll be more prepared for it. Being proactive also means staying one step ahead and asking questions whenever necessary to learn what’s going to happen during the next step of the process.
6. Try to stay civil with your soon-to-be ex
This one can be difficult, but as any good divorce lawyer will tell you, being able to communicate with an ex is crucial during the divorce proceedings. After all, the final decree will need both of your signatures, so you’ll have to maintain a certain amount of civility toward them.
If you can go through your attorney for questions or answers, that’s always a good thing. But you will likely eventually need to have a conversation with the other party, especially if you decide to go the divorce mediation route.
And if you have kids, communication with your ex is definitely going to happen. Keeping it civil helps to keep the lines of communication open for when it’s necessary.
7. Keep a to-do list
A to-do list helps a lot during divorce proceedings. Everything that is required of you is what to write down on that to-do list.
As you complete each task, put a checkmark next to it so that you’ll know you don’t have to do any more with it. You can modify the to-do list at any time, and for every item that you check off, you’ll feel like you’re one step closer to it being over with so that you can move on with your life.