January is known as “divorce month.” That’s because divorce filings typically begin to spike this time of year.
Divorce is something no one wants to think about, but once you have decided it’s the right choice for you, Smith, Paulson, O’Donnell & Erickson can help you get through it. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are beginning the divorce process:
Talk With Your Spouse
Amicable divorce requires communication. It’s important to not be impulsive. Talk through this with your partner: is divorce something they want as well? If you both agree that it is the best option, you can begin to draw out what divorced life would look like. What would happen to your living arrangements? If you have children, how would you tell them? Where would they live?
If you and your soon-to-be-ex can’t find common ground, hire an attorney for guidance on how to handle these tough conversations. Communication is an important factor in a successful divorce.
Gather Important Documents
Look for your latest tax statement, and keep a record of your assets and debts (bank accounts, loans, credit cards, mortgages, investments, properties, etc.). Everything you own will need a stated value. You may want a safe deposit box to store these documents. Often, it is one spouse’s responsibility to take care of certain finances, so familiarize yourself will your finances. Save any pertinent emails, records, or bills.
Take Care of Yourself
Divorce can be emotional and exhausting. You may need new ways to cope. Find a therapist who can help you keep a handle on your emotions and provide clarity to the situation. Exercise. Find a new hobby. Lean on your friends and family, and give yourself time to grieve.
Self-care is extra important. If you don’t have a close-knit group of friends or family – or even if you do – a support group can connect you with people who know what you’re going through.
Gather a Team to Help You
Ask lots of questions through the process, and always hire an attorney who can help you understand the fine print. When you file for divorce, you’ll have the option to go through litigation, where issues are contested in court, or mediation, a more give-and-take conversation from attorney to attorney.
Going through a divorce can be painful – especially when you’re unsure of what to do or how to get started. At Smith, Paulson, O’Donnell & Erickson, we can guide you through the mediation and divorce process. Contact us today to learn more.