A popular quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln states, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” In case it is unclear, this is a quote about the importance of preparation.
Anything in life worth doing is worth taking time to prepare for. And the more important the situation, the more preparation you should put forth.
There are few things that could occur in your life more serious and important than getting a divorce. A dissolution of your marriage is certain to change just about every aspect of your life, and it is never something that should be taken lightly.
There is far too much at stake for you to enter into divorce proceedings ill-prepared for what’s to come. In fact, the moment you know you are going to be getting a divorce, you should immediately begin the process of readying yourself.
Specifically, there are three areas which you should focus on in order to achieve a reasonable degree of personal divorce readiness: Finances, Logistics, and Emotions.
There is no denying the financial impact a divorce will have on your life. When you are married to someone, your finances almost always become extensively intertwined, and reverting to financial independence can be an overwhelming change. You should immediately begin the process of financial preparation for your divorce, such as opening a bank account and credit cards in only your name, setting aside your personal income or seeking out gainful employment if you are not working, and potentially even consulting with a financial professional about how you can ready yourself for the financial strain that may occur both during the divorce proceedings and after. You may also want to cut costs wherever possible in order to afford court costs and other professional fees inherent in the divorce process. This could mean going out less or moving in with a close friend or loved one to save on rent.
The word “logistics” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the handling of the details of an operation.” In terms of a divorce, we are referring to all of the practical matters you must handle to effectively prepare yourself for your divorce. Firstly, this means enlisting the services of a skilled divorce attorney and figuring out exactly what type of divorce you are going to pursue. It is also the various organizational steps you must take, such as gathering important paperwork and financial records, opening your own PO box, tracking your credit report, and more. Your attorney can help guide you when it comes to the logistical steps you must take, but this aspect of divorce preparation should not be overlooked.
Few people are every truly emotionally prepared for what they will feel and face during their divorce. It is one of the most emotionally taxing episodes that can occur in a person’s life, and it is vital that you not try to ignore your emotions or bottle them up. There are steps you can take to mentally prepare for the trials and tribulations you are about to face. Firstly, rely on a support network of friends and loved ones. Talk to them, share with them, and do not be too proud to accept their offers to help. Also, seek out the advice and guidance of people who have been in your shoes. Finally, utilize tools like meditation and exercise as well as professional counselors that can help you cope with the major changes occurring in your life.
The truth is, you will likely never be 100% prepared for everything that will occur in your divorce. However, it is essential that you do everything you can to ensure you are personally ready for whatever you may face. If you enter into your divorce having failed to properly prepare, it can make a difficult situation much, much worse. If you have questions about how to effectively prepare for a divorce, or you are in need of legal guidance and advice regarding a potential divorce, please contact Pacific Cascade Family Law today.