The start of a New Year is a time to set goals to improve your wellbeing, happiness and mental health. If you are in a troubled marriage, you may have decided to put off initiating a divorce until after Christmas and the holiday season. Now may be the time to take action and make divorce a New Year's resolution for 2019. The first step is to schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options for resolving difficult divorce related issues.
How to Prepare for Divorce in 2019 Educate Yourself: Research the basic process of a divorce and prepare for your initial consultation with a list of questions about your case.
Get your Finances Together: It is critical to start immediately collecting copies of all financial documentation including credit card bills, bank account information, mortgage statements, tax returns and pay stubs. Look for hidden assets and obtain a copy of your credit report.
Create a Balance Sheet and Establish a Budget: List all the assets and debts you and your spouse have on a balance sheet. Then determine what your family income is and establish a budget for your anticipated monthly living expenses post-divorce.
Open a Bank Account and Credit Card in your Name: Take initial steps towards financial independence by opening your own bank account and credit card. Set aside money to start building a safety net and to secure funds necessary for legal and other professional fees.
Take a Social Media Break: Negative information shared about your spouse on social media can be extremely damaging during a divorce. Avoid talking about your case and be careful about how you portray yourself on social media.
Prioritize the Best Interests of your Children: Acting in your children's best interests should be your first priority. Unless there have been serious issues during the marriage such as domestic violence or substance abuse, co-parenting in a joint custody arrangement where both parents play an active and important role in the children's lives is best for the children's mental and emotional wellbeing.
Practice Self-Care and Ask for Help: Divorce can be emotionally draining and stressful especially when it is not on amicable terms. Take time for yourself to stay healthy physically and mentally. Schedule an appointment with a therapist if possible and lean on close friends and/or family members for support.