Coming to the point in a marriage where you think that divorce might be the best option for you is usually at the end of a long road.
People in long-term marriages usually find there is a time span of two to five years between starting to consider divorce as an option and ultimately deciding it’s the right choice for you.
Take that in-between time and use it to your advantage by educating yourself with facts about your life and taking action to help your transition be easier.
Divorce is a legal and emotion process.
Here are 11 Things To Do ASAP: Divorce Planning | 11 Things To Do ASAP To Prepare For Divorce
Consider couples counseling or individual therapy to help you sort out your thoughts and feelings. 11 Steps To Take ASAP If You're Considering A Marital Separation Or Divorce.
Consult A Divorce Attorney
Even if you’re just thinking about the possibility of divorce, getting information on what the realities of divorce mean for you is empowering and helpful. Many family law attorneys offer a free consultation so be sure to ask before booking an appointment! Check out this post, When To Meet With A Divorce Attorney for more details on what to expect and how to prepare.
Prepare in advance of your consultation, so you can make the most of your time. Want a copy of my freebie 24 Questions To Ask A Divorce Attorney Or Mediator? Grab it HERE.
Get A Credit Card In Your Name
If all of your credit cards are joint make sure to apply for a credit card just in your name now.
Open A Checking and/or Savings Account In Your Name
Start putting money away for a divorce like you would for any other life event (vacation, college, car, etc.)
Figure Out Your Medical Insurance Situation
If you’re insured through your spouse start researching your medical insurance options early so you can budget accordingly.
Get Granular About Your Budget
Figure out exactly how much money you have coming in and going out every month. Be really specific, and don’t forget to add in annual expenses. Knowing your financial realities is critical when building your next chapter.
The Divorce Planner's customizable Monthly Budget Calculator walks you through every possible expense to consider and does the math for you!
Assess Any And All Debts
If you, your spouse or jointly have debts take that into consideration. Most states count a spouse’s debt as marital debt so you’ll be responsible for that amount during divorce.
Assess Your Retirement & College Savings Accounts
Get copies of all retirement accounts you and your spouse have. Pensions, 401K, 529s, SepIRA, etc.
Get Copies Of All Joint & Individual Account Statement
If you and/or your spouse have gotten a loan or mortgage those applications have detailed listings of all accounts you both have. If you don’t, start contacting financial institutions you both have accounts with and get copies of statements. This What To Gather worksheet can help you keep track of all of your essential documents and statements.
Figure Out Where You’ll Want To Reside Post-Divorce
Do you want to stay where you are? Make sure that’s financially do-able before committing to that thought. If you’ll be moving to a house, condo, or apartment start researching what those costs will be (rent/utilities/etc.) and factor the costs into your budget.
If You’re A Stay At Home Parent, Start Looking For Jobs
Divorce brings big financial changes. Looking for work early will help eliminate anxiety and empower you. Taking action sooner than later puts you in the position to navigate the changes divorce with clarity and confidence.
Need help preparing for your separation or divorce? Schedule a one-time 30 minute consultation with me HERE. During our session we'll walk through where you are in the process, what our focus will be on your prep plan, and assess if working together is the right choice for you.
Divorce is hard. Preparing for one doesn't have to be.