Regardless of what issues prompt the decision to end a marriage, the decision brings about many lifestyle changes, especially if there are children involved. Divorce can be emotionally upsetting and legally complex. Knowing how to prepare for divorce doesn’t necessarily come automatically, however. After all, a concerned parent may be processing many emotions, trying to help children cope and planning for the future all at the same time, which can feel overwhelming.
No two families are exactly alike, so neither are any two divorce situations. Preparation should be tailored to fit a spouse’s unique needs and ultimate settlement goals. Any number of documents may be pertinent to divorce proceedings. A review of financial information, as well as any paperwork pertaining to the children may be relevant. On a more personal note, it is helpful to write out a list that includes questions, topics and goals that one might have or wish to discuss or negotiate.
Another key factor a parent will wish to consider in preparing for divorce is to make sure he or she has a plan regarding issues such as means of transportation, a way to earn income, a place to live, etc. It can be helpful to close jointly owned bank accounts, when permissible, and open a separate one. It is also a good idea might to open a post office box to receive mail.
It is understandable to want to maintain a certain level of privacy while negotiating a divorce settlement. It is helpful, however, to reach out for support as needed from babysitters, teachers, coaches, counselors, close friends and family members, as well as legal advocates. Careful thought and thorough preparation and planning helps minimize the negative impact that a divorce can have on a person’s life. As a parent, it also helps to gather much needed resources to help children cope and move on in life in as positive a manner as possible.