Is getting a divorce something that has been rolling around in your head? Are you just getting through these days of the year so that the whole family can celebrate the holidays together for one last time? Maybe 2017 will be the year when you finally end a marriage that has not been fulfilling for a very long time. If you are deciding to take the big step, then there are things 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. Don’t be sneaky about it or do this just to get the upper hand. It is just 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 stand by; e.g. avoid conflict, keep things in the best interest of the children, share information. And then set a time table so there is a goal as to when the divorce is to finalize since 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. Probably the most common is mediation which is conducted under the premise of working out an end to the marriage rather than fighting it out using litigators and the court system. 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 them have some time to digest what is about to happen. Share your knowledge of mediation and collaborative law. Give him or her the book titled The Courtless Divorce so that they may have a better understanding of the options available. And do not cause any new conflicts as you will need one another 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 can provide personal guidance. Keep your chin up, there are happier times in your future.