5 Things You Should Know Before You File for Divorce

Filing for divorce can be considered an initiation into what is often a lengthy and complex process. It is also not cheap. And the divorce process can cause wear and tear not just on you and your ex-partner, but also on kids, pets, loved ones and your extended network. As well, the state you file in will have an impact on how and how quickly the proceedings can progress.

In this post, learn about five key things you should know before you decide to file for a divorce.

#1: You have options when seeking a divorce.
If this is your first divorce or you haven’t had time to do a lot of research yet, you may not realize that you have a number of options for seeking a divorce.

In addition to the traditional method, the court divorce, you can choose mediation, collaborative divorce or even an amicable online self-filed divorce.

#2: Make a complete assessment of everything you and your ex-partner have.
This includes everything from furniture to pets, investments to debt. You want to be able to produce documented lists (with receipts or photos or both if possible) of all possessions and holdings. Get any appraisals you need before you start proceedings.

The sooner you and your ex-partner take care of this, the less likely items are to “go missing” if things don’t go smoothly later.

#3: Set an intention – or at least keep in mind the biggest possible picture.
If you can set an intention for the outcome of your divorce, this is an ideal way to keep your head above water when things get detailed (as they typically inevitably will during the actual proceedings).

But at the very least, try to keep the biggest, most positive possible outcome in mind before you even take the initial steps to file. This can also help others who are affected despite themselves by your divorce proceedings.

#4: Set your budget.
“My divorce was so cheap”….said no one, ever. The truth is, with the possible exception of that very rare amicable self-filed online divorce, most divorces come with a significant price tag attached. If you and your ex-partner have financial constraints, it is essential to know this going in.

Sometimes just sitting down to sketch out what each option may cost, from hiring an attorney to filing court papers to completing required counseling time (which some states require) can help you both choose the option that your budget can afford.

#5: Consider giving the marriage one final try.
This final tip is especially critical if you and your ex-partner have kids together. Divorce can be a challenge for the younger family members, regardless of age. If you do decide you simply must divorce, seek out some outside support for your kids because the will likely need it.

By taking time to consider these five contemplations, you and your ex-partner can determine whether divorce is still the only option or if there is something else you’d like to try first.

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