Taking the steps to end your marriage can leave you feeling like you do not know where to begin. Processing the emotion of the decision is a lot on its own. But the fact is there are logistical steps that must be taken to complete the process. Below is a checklist that you can follow as you navigate your divorce.
1. Decide the mechanism you want to use to settle your divorce: You have a choice when it comes to how you settle your divorce: divorce mediation or litigation. Right now, for a variety of reasons, the courts are actually encouraging couples to try mediation before proceeding through the court system. The court system is backed up, costs more and most divorces can actually be settled with the assistance of a mediator.
2. Hire reputable support: Do your homework when you hire a mediator and/or an attorney. You will be paying them by the hour, so you want to know what you will get for that investment. Ask around, do online research and even interview those you may hire.
3. Find personal support: You will want to have personal and professional support during divorce so spend time now shoring up that support. Family, friends, co-workers can offer important support for you and your family during this time.
4. Focus on your children: Your children did not ask for this change in their life but will need to cope with it anyway. Make sure that they are at the front of your mind during all major decisions.
5. Prepare financially: Save money where you can and go ahead and pull together financial documentation that will be needed for the divorce process (tax documents, W-2s, retirement information, etc.)
6. Communicate with loved ones: Make sure that you are communicating clearly with loved ones and people that care about you. This includes your kids. Being open and honest will go a long way in the healing process.
7. Think about your priorities: You may have things that you shared in your marriage that you have a particular attachment to. Consider making a list of those things so that you can negotiate for them when the time comes.
8. Practice self-care: The divorce process can last a few months, and this is after you have spent many more months (or longer) weighing this big decision. Find hobbies and things to do with your time that you enjoy and that help you heal. This may be exercise, massage, coffee dates with friends, or watching movies. Whatever it is for you, do it!
Minnesota Divorce Mediator
If you have questions about the divorce process or want to explore whether mediation might work for you, Johnson Mediation can help. Call us at 952-401-7599 for more information.