Are you just getting through these days so that the whole family can celebrate the holidays together for one last time? Maybe 2020 will be the year when you finally end a marriage that has not been fulfilling for an awfully long time. If you are deciding to take the big step, there are points you should consider to reduce the emotional toll and financial burden.
Get yourself organized by putting together bank statements, legal records and other information that may be pertinent. Do not be sneaky about it or do this just to get the upper hand. It is important to have these items easily accessible and you will likely be sharing these things with your spouse anyway. Set some principles that you intend to follow: e.g., avoid conflict, keep things in the best interest of the children, share information. Then set a timetable so there is a goal as to when the divorce will finalize, knowing that the longer it takes the costlier it will be. Learn what your options are. Hiring a traditional divorce attorney might be the way to go, but there are other ways to end a marriage that have become more popular in recent years. The most common is mediation which is conducted on the premise of working out an end to the marriage rather than fighting it out using litigation. Collaborative law works similarly to mediation, but instead of three-way meetings (a mediator and the couple), four-way meetings are conducted where the spouses work through the divorce and make decisions with legal representation present.
Break the news to your spouse and let him/her have some time to digest what is about to happen. Share your knowledge of mediation and collaborative law. Give him/her the book titled The Courtless Divorce so that he/she may have a better understanding of the options available. Do not cause any new conflicts, as you will need each other to move forward in a civilized way.
Take care of yourself. Eat healthfully and exercise to help get you through the divorce with a clearer head and more energy. Consider using a therapist or life coach so that you have someone who provides personal guidance. Keep your chin up; happier times are in your future.
Learn more about mediation in The Courtless Divorce book.