Facing divorce is a bit like preparing for your first marathon or significant weight loss. It’s challenging, emotional, and sometimes downright complicated. But, if you are planning a divorce in the near future, you will be happy to know that, with proper planning and consideration, you really can minimise the pressures that come with divorce and give yourself the best possible separation. With that being the case, below, you will find six things you should do before your divorce that will genuinely make a positive difference to your experience.
1. Keep Your Intentions Quiet
Okay, so the first and most important thing you should do before a divorce is play your cards close to your chest. You need to do this for two reasons: first of all, it is never a good idea to threaten your partner with divorce as this is likely to cause animosity that will make the proceedings harder than they need to be.
Secondly, it is a good idea to keep quiet about your intentions, providing you are sure of them, and talking things through will not lead to saving the marriage, because it gives your partner a head up, This would not be so bad if they are likely to be fair and kind during the divorce, but if they are likely to play dirty, a heads-up is only going to make things more challenging for you.
2. Gather Your Paperwork
Once you have decided that a divorce is on the cards, then it is vital that you take the time to gather together and make copies of any important documents including bank statements, pensions, and any other financial documentation about you and your partner, so you can be sure that any settlement that is reached will be a fair and equitable one. Your partner will not be able to lie so that you get less than you are entitled to if they are the kind of person who may be inclined to do so.
3. Speak to a Financial Advisor and a Lawyer
During this stage, it would probably also be a good idea to speak to an experienced financial advisor in your area who can look at all of your documents and help you work out what your financial situation is likely to be post-divorce, so you can prepare for whatever eventualities you are likely to face. Getting in touch with a lawyer at this point is also advised as they are best placed to tell you how any financial splits are likely to work, and more importantly, they will be able to help you with things like child custody too.
4. Lean on Friends and Family
Even if you are generally a pretty private person, chances are you are going to need help and support to get you through those tough early days of your breakup, so speaking to friends and family and confiding in them about what you are going through is a good idea. Providing you trust them to keep confidential info private, they will be a shoulder to lean on when things get tough as they often do.
5. Drafting a Parenting Plan
If children are involved, a well-thought-out parenting plan is essential before you go ahead and make the break. It’s all about prioritising their needs and ensuring their life remains as stable as possible even if your relationship with your partner does not. Discuss and agree on living arrangements, schooling, and how you’ll handle holidays as soon as possible and you can hopefully minimise the disruption to your children as much as possible.
6. Prioritising Self-Care
Self-care is your anchor during this time. Whether it’s continuing with hobbies, exercise, or just making sure you get enough sleep, taking care of yourself is crucial to your well-being right now. It’s all about maintaining your well-being amidst the chaos, so if you need to spend more time meditating or reading or just simply going for a walk to clear your head, be sure to make time out of your schedule for it because you matter too and you need to stay well.
I’m not going to lie and say that divorcing is ever an easy experience to go through, but I will say that you can make it a whole lot easier on yourself if you do as many of the above as you can manage and if you treat yourself kindly. I hope you have the best possible divorce you can.