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A divorce is a life transition but it does not have to interfere with every aspect of your daily life. Organization and preparation can do more than just help you do more than get through a divorce. It can help you thrive afterwards.

These are some tips on how to organize and prepare for your divorce proceeding, your life after divorce, and make the whole process go more smoothly.

Review Your Life and Financial Goals 

Whether it was your decision to leave the marriage or your spouse’s, this is a good time to review your life and financial goals upon divorce.  What goals worked for you during the marriage may not work for you now whether you are returning to the status of a single person or entering into a new relationship or partnership.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you afford to maintain your current lifestyle given your divorce?
  • Is now the right time to embark on any new adventures, such as an expensive trip or a new business venture, or should you maintain your current lifestyle and not take any unnecessary or expensive risks?
  • Will you have to move upon your divorce and, if you do, where will you live? Try to make arrangements in advance to prevent any last minute rushing around.
  • What concessions will you have to make in your divorce? For example, will you have to trade some higher-yielding investments for the security of a residence in a property settlement?
  • What changes will you have to make to your life and financial goals that you had during the marriage? Ask yourself whether your old goals still make sense given your current situation.
  • How is your health? Are you taking care of yourself?
  • What activities do you enjoy? Can you still engage in them?  Being involved in activities such as exercise, seeing friends, and engaging in other activities that you enjoy such as art, music, sports and the like can be a great source of comfort and reassurance for divorcing persons.
  • What will your life look like after your divorce? Where will you live and work? What will your daily life be like?   What shape will your finances be in?

Have a Good Support System

A solid support system is essential to your emotional well-being and can be a great help during the divorce process.  Think about your support system, including friends, family members, people you work with and socialize with, community members, such as your church, school, and members of other organizations, as well as your therapist, physician, and any spiritual advisors.  Reach out to them, as appropriate.  Many people are more willing to lend support than you may realize.

Make Sure That Your Financial Documents Are In Order 

Organizing your financial paperwork in terms of your assets can be helpful both to your divorce process and in organizing your life.  Be sure to obtain documents such as vital records, contracts, bank statements, real property, your investments, and any other financial accounts.  This can help trace or prove your interest in any assets during your divorce as well as organize your financial life.

Have a Clear Understanding of the Community Estate

Before entering into any settlement agreement or making any long term financial decisions in your divorce, you do need to know the nature, extent, and value of all of the assets in the community estate.  You can obtain this information from your records, your spouse if they will cooperate, third parties, and through discovery.  If you do not know the full extent of the community estate, you may have to conduct discovery to determine the character and value of those assets.

Know What Is Your Separate Property

The same is true of your separate property assets.  Be sure that you have a clear understanding of all of your separate property assets, including property acquired before the marriage, after the date of separation, gifts, and inheritance assets.  This would include documentation to prove that those separate property assets are yours.

Think About Workable Custody and Visitation Arrangements

If you have minor children with your spouse, think about custody and visitation plans that will work for you, the other parent, and your children.  This will require you to be flexible and, when you plan, do so with the best interests of the minor child in mind.  The law tends to favor parents who put their children’s interests ahead of their own and allow the children frequent and continuing contact with the other parent.

Be Realistic About Your Job Skills

If you work, be realistic about what you can earn and your career’s longevity. If you have not worked in a while, think about your job skills and whether you will need to be retrained to enter the workforce and what period of time you will need to do so.

Manage Your Emotions 

Try to keep your emotions under control.  Think before you speak, act, or write unnecessary emails to your spouse.  Divorce can be a difficult time but it can be managed.

Ask for Help If You Need It 

If you are overwhelmed and do not feel that you can handle your divorce on your own, ask for help.  There are therapists, physicians, friends, family members, spiritual advisors, and other sources of support available to you.  This also includes accountants, attorneys, financial advisors, and other financial professionals to assist you.

Give Yourself Some Time

Even if a divorce is a healthy choice for you, it is still a big life change.  Give yourself some time to adjust to your new life after your divorce.  Call us if we can help with your Stamford divorce preparation.

 

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