Divorce is something that is often thought about by couples for many months (or years) before any formal steps are taken to move forward. This may be for many reasons–you may not be ready to take these steps, you may not know what steps to even take, or you may be concerned about the financial impact and/or logistical issues ahead. If you think you are ready to learn more about the process, you might want to focus on the first steps that you will need to take, rather than the entire process. Here are some tips for getting started:
1. Communication: If you are ready to start the process of divorce, the very first step is communicating about that to your family. Each family dynamic is different so your approach should be tailored to your unique circumstances. Include your children to the extent that you can depending on their age. You should also consider communicating to extended family and friends as well as they can become important sources of support for you.
2. Separation: The first step for many couples toward a divorce is a physical separation. This is not always required, but is a logical step, even if it is on a trial basis. If you share children, it will also be important to develop a separation agreement which outlines how your children will spend their time during the separation. The terms of this agreement can be resolved with an attorney or a mediator, depending on your preference.
3. Financial planning: Divorce can have a huge financial impact on a family. One of the most important first steps that you can take early in the process is to gather your financial documentation together so that it is easily accessible. This means tax returns, W-2 forms, retirement information, stock and other investment information as well as a list of items that you and your spouse share.
Navigating The Divorce Process
Divorce is difficult and can be emotionally and financially draining. The good news about divorce is that there are many resources to help you navigate the process, no matter where you start. AMS Mediation specializes in providing high-quality divorce and parenting support services to families who are ready to begin the divorce process. We can answer questions, provide you with guidance and help you with the process without having to go through the court system. Mediation allows you to settle the terms of your divorce how and when you are ready. For more information about our divorce mediation services, call 952-252-1492.