Going through a marital breakup is undoubtedly a complex and overwhelming experience. When a spouse approaches you and asks for a divorce, the initial shock can be completely paralyzing. Is divorce ever really expected? Regardless of the circumstances, divorce is a complicated process, and one in which you will have to make many tough decisions.
What you do in the first stages of your divorce often determines how quickly you recover and can have far-reaching impacts on your life for many years to come. Obviously, making these life-altering decisions in such an emotional state is less than ideal. However, educating yourself and knowing what steps to take up-front can alleviate much of your worry and stress while facilitating a better post-divorce experience.
You’re going to be making a multitude of important decisions that will affect your life and your children’s lives for many years to come. Getting organized is critically important. If your spouse is willing to cooperate, work with him or her to create a list of debts and assets, and start getting copies of financial statements and records. Be sure to include your W2s and bank account statements as well as your most recent state and federal tax returns.
You may begin to feel isolated and alone, but rest assured that this is completely normal. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone. There are a myriad of divorce support sources out there to help you sort through the feelings you may be experiencing. Lean on family and close friends, or seek the services of a counselor or therapist. By learning to control your emotions, you will be better prepared when divorce negotiations start.
As mentioned earlier, the shock of divorce can be so overwhelming that it paralyzes you. However, now is not the time to be an observer of your situation; this is the time to take control. One of the best ways to get through a divorce is to take responsibility for your part and seek to keep an active role in the process. Educate yourself and be ready to make your own decisions.
Know your options
When you’re ready to proceed, there are plenty of options available. Some of the more amicable options involve collaborative divorce or mediation. Take time to research all of the options. There is professional support readily available to help you gain an understanding of the confusing legalities surrounding divorce. Always remember, you do not have to go through this difficult event alone.