How do I start the divorce process?

Divorce isn’t easy. Even when it’s something you want. It’s a dramatic change in your life and your family’s and the decisions you’ll make over the next several months will be trying.

Being prepared and knowing what to expect will make the process easier. If you think it’s time to end your marriage, here’s what you need to do:

Starting the Divorce Process

You’ve Tried Everything

If you’ve tried everything you know to do – counseling, talking with one another, religious guidance, maybe even separation, and you are resolved divorce is the best/only solution, it’s time to move forward. If you still have doubts, you owe it to yourself and your family to explore a resolution outside of divorce. Only you and your spouse can come to this conclusion. Only the two of you know what’s in your hearts.

Do Some Digging

The most highly contested areas for couples are finances and children. Take some time before actively seeking divorce to list the possessions and financial accounts for the two of you. Even if you skip this step initially, you will be required to do it later so you may as well get it done before the emotions of the situation make it more difficult.

Some spouses become very territorial over financial holdings, and they may start to “disappear” when a divorce is on the horizon. Capture the details while they’re in plain view.

Create a Budget

Most likely your income will change after a divorce, even when factoring in alimony or child support. You may be paying for child care or rent for the first time. What worked in your married budget may not work as you go it alone. Take a look at your financial realities, including your debts. Outside of the emotional upheaval, this is often one of the most raw parts of the process.

It will be okay; just know that you are gathering this information to see what you’re working with. If there are minor children from the marriage, the courts will work to equalize the homes financially. This is just a starting point.

An experienced divorce attorney can help you (later) with the particulars like support obligations and get you in touch with a financial advisor if necessary.

Think About What’s Important

It’s easy in the divorce process to forget about the little things that are important to you, such as having the children every mother’s or father’s day. If there are any special family traditions that you want to continue to honor, make note of them.

Consider Your Options

Divorce doesn’t have to be a war. Many couples choose a collaborative divorce. This allows for a less contentious process and is generally easier on families. However, if you and your spouse are unable to be in the same room with one another without bickering, this may not be an ideal option.

The next step is finding an attorney you trust. Look for someone who is versed in the different types of divorce because what may start out one way can quickly erode into something else. A good divorce attorney will offer advice or explanations but not force you into making a decision you’re not comfortable with.

If you’re looking for a divorce attorney in Clearwater or the surrounding areas, or if you’re unsure of what you should do next, call Dean Tsourakis for a free consultation today.