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How to Get the Best Divorce Advice and Come Out on Top
Written by: Megan Dell
If you are ready for change and if you’ve made up your mind to start divorce proceedings, this article is for you. ‘How to Get the Best Divorce Advice and Come Out on Top’ is written for those who are contemplating divorce. While we are sorry you are at the start of a difficult and scary journey, it might be encouraging to know you won’t be alone. We recognize this is tough to start as ending a marriage is a sad event in anyone’s life, and divorce can be a difficult process.
You might even feel this is all a big mistake, especially if you are not the one who insists on ending this relationship. Maybe you are the one parent who has tried to hold on for the sake of the children for years and years, and it’s now unraveling anyway.
Everyone will want to give you divorce advice!
You will find support along the way, we are confident in that. Help may come through divorce lawyers, divorce coaches, or other professionals whose job it is to help people go through a divorce. Reading this article is a great first step to getting a divorce.
Before taking any action, you’ll want to
do online research (hello, you are here!)
talk with people who’ve gone through divorce
talk with professionals who can help you navigate your divorce
Without a plan to get started, you might decide to back out (as many people do) only to find yourself back at this same crossroad months or years from now.
Why not do it right, right now? Here is how you start.
Gather personal information
No matter who you’ll be meeting with — a divorce lawyer, divorce consultant, divorce mediator, divorce coach, or therapist — you’ll want to be gathering all your personal information and keep it in one place.
That includes things like bank statements, your pay stub, credit card statements, social security card, ID and more. Making a list of joint property and assets is helpful as well.
The more information you gather now, the easier the process will be later.
Some useful tips for how to prepare for divorce financially
Money battles are the main contributing factors to divorce. How can you get started, even when you are unsure how you’ll be able to afford the divorce? What will your living expenses be? Do the following:
Divorce advice: get your finances in order
Gathering financial information and financial documents can be a challenge. Try to get together what you can and put it in one place, your lawyer will be asking for this paperwork fairly early on in the process.
Later on and with the help of your attorney, you can hire a forensic accountant if needed to get a more detailed understanding of your financial picture.
How to prepare for divorce emotionally
As far as the emotional side of divorce, be prepared for anything. You’ll feel all the feels and most likely will go through all five stages of grieving as you go through this divorce process to end your marriage. New events like going to court, or announcing your separation on social media, can be scary!
Even in the end, when you have divorce papers in hand, you’ll find that these feelings might not be gone as quickly as you’d hoped.
Don’t refuse to see a therapist
If you are having a really hard time, your divorce attorney can help recommend a therapist for you and your children. Do not hesitate to start therapy. Talking to someone who has experience in this field will be a lifeline you do not want t miss out on.
It’s never too late either, so if you initially declined to see a therapist, do not feel bad if you find you need this type of support to get through your divorce.
Keeping the end goal in mind, being free from this marriage, your divorce will ultimately relieve stress from you and your family.
Whatever you’ve decided do not use your children as a shield. Do not use your children as a pawn for negotiation. Do not take this stressful and scary time out on your kids or your spouse and here is why.
Spouses divorce. Parents are parents forever
While you might divorce your spouse, you will always be connected to them through your kids and eventually maybe even grandkids. You will be co-parents forever, and single parents until either of you remarry. While you might not like your soon-to-be ex, for the sake of your children you will need to try to remain civil as you might see each other in court over future custody agreements.
Don’t dismiss the possibility of an uncontested divorce
Are you and your spouse in disagreement or fighting between yourselves? Don’t immediately dismiss the possibility of an uncontested divorce process.
While this may seem out of the question right now as your relationship is ending, it can be the right solution for your case after you’ve both retained counsel. There is another good reason to consider this option.
The more you and your spouse can talk and negotiate your own settlement, the more time and money you will save in your divorce
Lawyer fees add up quickly. The more you argue, stall, and delay, the more expensive the divorce will be. Therefore, if you are able, try to agree on certain things on your own.
Uncontested and amicable divorces are usually faster and cost less. If you can not agree on anything on your own, you might need a mediator to come to a settlement agreement.
Where does mediation fit in?
Mandatory mediation is an integral part of resolving various family law matters in South Carolina Family Court. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which the parties get together to attempt settlement with the help of a neutral (referred to as the “mediator”). The mediation process is used in divorce cases and custody cases.
In South Carolina Family Court, mediation is required before a contested trial can be scheduled. However, at the start of your case, it’s not always clear how many mediation sessions might be needed to come to an agreement. Be patient as you go through this process.
Go talk with your friends and ask for divorce advice!
As nearly 60% of marriages end in divorce, it is likely you have some close friends who’ve gone on this journey before you, and some who will follow you. The end of any relationship is sad and scary. Reach out to those friends for support. Ask them how they feel now, and what they wished someone had told them at the beginning of this process.
Why not learn from their experience, and make yours just a bit more tolerable? While their experience might be invaluable, their support is going be crucial to your emotional well-being as you go through a divorce. You’ll want a shoulder to cry on, a person to lean on, and friends to do things with as you adjust to being single once more.
The practical advice you need!
Once you’ve looked at your finances, gathered documents, and started taking care of the emotional side, you might be ready for action. While filing for divorce and divorce proceedings might go slower than you’d like, there are certain actions you can take to make you feel in control.
Find a place to live
If a couple has lived together and been in a relationship for years, it might be daunting to consider moving out of the marital home. However, one of you will have to move in order to move on. A physical separation will also aid your emotional healing journey.
While moving into separate homes may make life as you know it difficult financially, this is a step you can take without your legal counsel and should be considered a first step to divorce.
Focus on the big picture: after divorce
The most practical advice we can give you is to focus on the future. Details will iron themselves out over time. There are things that will come and go and will need your attention, but if you focus on the future, of how your life post-divorce will look like, you’ll find that you are able to handle the small stuff.
Visualizing your future is a great way to move forward. Picture yourself in a new home. Picture yourself making decisions on your own. Potentially picture yourself in a new relationship. Picture yourself on trips and outings.
If you need more than a mental picture, take a vision board workshop to work through this process of creating a picture of your new life beyond divorce.
Finding a divorce attorney
When it’s time to file for divorce, we highly recommend you research potential attorneys and set up a first meeting with your top choice as soon as possible. Once you’ve decided on an attorney to represent you, they might ask to meet in person whenever possible. However, frequently attorneys will offer virtual meetings to save time in travel especially if you are geographically far apart.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of divorce?