How To Prepare Yourself For The Divorce Process

How to prepare yourself for the divorce processDivorce is a complicated journey that will have an effect on all aspects of your life. From your finances to your emotions and everything in between, it helps to be prepared. With collaborative divorce, spouses work together as a team to divide their assets and come to a resolution that both sides can agree upon. While this process is much more favorable for most divorcing couples, there are still a few preparation steps each spouse should take to make the process run as smoothly as possible.


Before you begin to work with your individual lawyers, you and your spouse will need to gather important financial information, including pay stubs, tax documentation, and financial statements, along with a detailed list of assets and debts. Don’t forget to include statements for retirement accounts, mortgages, and copies of insurance polices.

Monthly Expenses

Review your current and anticipated post-divorce monthly expenses to help determine the amount of cash flow you will need once the divorce becomes final. This will be extremely valuable when addressing such issues as alimony and division of assets and debts.

In calculating your monthly expenses, you should review several months’ worth of checking account and credit card statements. If there is a wide fluctuation in monthly expenses, average several months’ worth to get a better sense of the average monthly expenses.  

For expenses such as groceries, restaurants, hair appointments, child care, and dry cleaning, think about how many times per week or month you incur each of these expenses and about how much you spend each time. Then if you have a firm weekly amount, multiply that amount by 4.3 weeks to arrive at a monthly figure.

For irregularly paid expenses that you might pay once, twice, or maybe four times per year for such expenses as property taxes or automobile insurance, calculate the annual cost and divide by 12 months.

Retain an Attorney Trained in Collaborative Divorce

No one should begin the divorce process without the advice of an attorney. With collaborative divorce, both you and your spouse each have your own trained collaborative divorce attorney and work in a team environment in which additional professionals are added as necessary. The end result is that both you and your spouse get “the best bang for the buck” because you are paying for only those professionals that can help the most. As a result, legal fees are generally lower in collaborative divorce than in divorce litigation.

Make the Right Choice for Your Family and Your Future

Divorce is not to be taken lightly. Although the thought of preparing for a new life after marriage can be daunting, the actions described above will go a long way to positioning yourself for the opportunities that lie ahead for you.

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