What to Prepare for Divorce

How to prepare for divorce as a woman

Filing for a divorce is one of the most emotionally draining, complicated, and stressful times in a woman’s life. However, you need to remember while getting a divorce is difficult, staying in an unhappy or broken marriage is worse.

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Here are some steps that will help you prepare for your divorce, make the process a bit easier, and secure your future:

  • If your spouse is not ready for an amicable divorce, and you are choosing the litigation route instead, make sure to hire an exceptional attorney. Doing so will ensure that you get a fair agreement and are not lowballed in court by your ex-spouse.
  • From utility bills to credit card statements, record all your expenses for the past three to six months. Doing so will help you have a clear idea about how much money you’ll need to live comfortably post-divorce.
  • Open a separate bank account in your name and start building wealth. Try to save as much as possible for divorce-related and post-divorce expenses.
  • Change your medical directives. Your ex-husband should not be able to take medical decisions on your behalf after your divorce.
  • After your divorce, your husband will no longer be your next of kin. So, make sure to alter your will to limit his share of your personal assets and properties. You can legally disinherit him after your divorce.

How to prepare for divorce as a man

Divorce is as hard on a man as it is on a woman. However, since men are taught to be strong and “masculine,” they often have a hard time expressing their vulnerabilities.

While marriage is indeed a beautiful thing, divorce is not uncommon. In fact, almost 40% to 50% of all first marriages end up in divorce in the United States. And almost 50% of marriages result in divorce in the UK as well.

If you are going through a divorce, know that you are not alone. Getting a divorce is not easy in any way – it is painful, stressful, and overwhelming. But it will get better with time.

Since your divorce is happening, you need to be prepared for it. Here are some steps that men should take to prepare for their divorces:

  • If possible, try to opt for an amicable divorce. Taking the issue to the court only makes things more complicated and several times more expensive.
  • Stay involved in your children’s lives, show up for important events, and communicate with them regularly. Even though your marriage is coming to an end, your relationship with your kids shouldn’t have to change.
  • As much as possible keep the lines of communication open and be polite to your ex-wife.
  • Set up a new bank account and credit card account in your own name only.
  • Set up an inventory of all your properties and personal assets. This will help you in changing your will later on.
  • Further, make sure to document all your expenses to prepare for your post-divorce life.
  • If you have children, you may need to provide child support too. Make sure to consult your financial advisor or a family lawyer for the same.

Divorce preparation checklist

If you find yourself facing a divorce, there are several things you need to be prepared for. While the effects of a divorce can be devastating, being prepared for it can go a long way in reducing your stress and complications.

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Here is a simple (but effective) divorce preparation checklist that will help you in this tough time:

  • Compile a list of all the essential documents including your marriage license, prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements (if any).
  • Make copies of all your financial documents including tax returns for the past five years, real estate records, investment and retirement accounts, loans, and more.
  • Change the passwords of all your accounts including your bank accounts, email, social media handles, etc.
  • Compile a list of all your personal assets and items like jewellery, family heirloom, photos that have special meaning to you, and more. It goes a long way in simplifying the division of assets later.
  • Make sure to record all the assets you and your spouse own jointly. It can be real estate properties, vehicles, household items, or even pets.
  • If you have children together, get in touch with a reputed family law attorney and discuss child support plans, custody, visitation schedules, and more.

How to prepare for divorce as a stay-at-home mom

Preparing for a divorce as a stay-at-home mom becomes several times more challenging than it’d have been if you were professionally active. Since your husband is the sole income earner, managing your finances after divorce can be difficult.

However, with proper planning, you can still take control of your future and lead a comfortable life post-divorce.

If you are a stay-at-home mom, the first thing you must do is assess your family budget. Analyse all monthly expenditures and savings. This will help you have a clear idea of what your post-divorce finances will look like.

Along with that, make a list of all the assets and valuable items that you own individually. It can be jewellery, value artworks, family heirloom, or vehicles. Get in touch with your financial advisor to help you navigate this journey and plan for your post-divorce future.

You can also start looking for suitable jobs. However, if your job prospects are limited (due to health conditions or any other reason), you may also qualify for spousal support. Consider talking with your attorney regarding this.

How to prepare for divorce secretly

While secretly preparing for divorce is not a good idea, sometimes you do not have any other option. If you are stuck in a difficult marriage, secretly planning might be your only option.

While we recommend you to be always open and honest with your spouse if you really need to prepare for divorce secretly, here are some tips for the same.

  • Make an inventory of all your assets and properties (both personal and the ones you own jointly). It will help you get a fair agreement in case your partner decides to contest the divorce in court.
  • Analyse your individual financial conditions as well as that of your partner. It will be helpful in case any partner claims for alimony or equal distribution of wealth.
  • Open a separate bank account in your name only. Get a credit card under your name only.
  • Set up a new and private email account for all your confidential divorce-related conversations with your attorney.
  • Try to share or confide in a close friend or family member for emotional support.

What to do before telling spouse you want a divorce

It is never easy to tell your spouse that you want a divorce. Things can spiral down quickly if you are not careful with your conversation.

If you want to have a divorce, make sure to tell your spouse about it as soon as possible. Hiding it from them will only make the process more painful and difficult.

Telling your spouse, whom you loved dearly, that you want to end your marriage is never easy. Unless they are already expecting it, they will be shocked. So, be prepared for arguments, denial, anger or crying.

It is a good idea to plan what you want to say beforehand. Create some pointers in your head and put forward your case reasonably. Make sure to pick a private place to tell your spouse about the divorce. Talk to them calmly without yelling or blaming.

FAQ related to how long it takes to get a divorce:

How should a woman prepare for a divorce?

Your divorce preparation will depend on whether you are having an amicable divorce or litigation. However, there are some things that every woman must do before filing a divorce.

Make sure to open a separate bank account and credit card account in your name. Keep a record of all your as well as your spouse’s assets and properties.

In case you have children, plan about child custody and how you are going to split their expenses.

What to try before getting a divorce?

If you are having second thoughts about your divorce, try to seek guidance from a marriage counsellor or go to couple’s therapy. 97% of people who opted for couple’s therapy before getting a divorce admitted to receiving positive results.

So, if you are not sure about your divorce or want to work on your issues together, giving a second chance to your marriage may be worth it!

What not to do before you get divorced?

Here are some major things that you should avoid doing before getting divorced:

  • Don’t try to involve your children in your issues
  • Avoid starting another relationship while your divorce is still pending in court
  • Don’t go behind your spouse’s back and change the clauses of your divorce agreement
  • Until your divorce is finalized, avoid announcing it to the world on social media
  • Don’t close the line of communication with your spouse. Try to keep things amicable.

What should a wife ask for in a divorce?

Depending on the laws of the place you live in, there are several things a wife can ask for in a divorce. It includes spousal support, child support, legal custody of your children, equitable division of assets, and more.

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