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Updated by Amar Weisman on Jun 04, 2020
Headline for 5 Steps to Take Before and After Filing for Divorce
Amar Weisman Amar Weisman
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5 Steps to Take Before and After Filing for Divorce

According to the American Psychological Association, 40-50% of married couples in the US will divorce. Every step of the divorce process offers its own unique challenges. Through personal clarity, a strong support network, personal research, and a solid temporary plan, you can successfully navigate the divorce process. Take control of your divorce by following these five important steps.


Make Sure You Want a Divorce

This may seem like an obvious place to start, but it is incredibly important. Before filing for divorce, make sure to determine whether or not you’re truly ready to call it quits. Start by asking yourself these difficult questions:

Do you want and/or expect your spouse to change their behavior?
Are you simply reacting to a single incident or argument?
Is there something else other than divorce you are hoping to gain from this process?

Chances are you are truly ready to file for divorce if you can say that all you are seeking is to end your marriage.


Build Your Support Team

Are you ready for the divorce process and all that it entails? Deciding when to stay or leave is difficult, and as a divorce lawyer, I urge you to not attempt to handle this alone. Before filing, take the time to build a good support network:

  • Seek legal guidance from a knowledgeable professional
  • Consider working with a therapist to take care of your emotional health
  • Connect with a few trusted friends and family members

Having friends and family around can be valuable, but remember to take their advice with a grain of salt. While they may want what is best for you, they aren’t a neutral third party. Your network should include only those who have your best interests at heart. Good support will help you emotionally, as well as help you protect your long-term interests.


Do Personal Research

Divorce can bring out the worst in people. Before filing for divorce, collect all shared information. Phone records, bank statements, credit card bills, and mortgages are all critical to a divorce proceeding. No one thinks that their significant other will attempt to withhold information or cause the proceedings to turn ugly, but it happens. Gathering all shared information before you file eliminates the need to make these sensitive decisions later.


Create a Plan and Execute Your Next Steps

Remember, you aren’t single yet. Filing for divorce is simply the first step in the process. Before filing, make sure to determine:

  • Are you planning on moving out?
  • What is your pre-divorce financial situation and budget?
  • If there are kids, what are your temporary child-custody arrangements?

Even if these decisions are just temporary, it’s important to safeguard your future after filing, as well as during your divorce.


Shed a Different Light on the Divorce Process

A new trend, the divorce selfie, sheds a different light on a traditionally somber occasion. Exes have taken to social media to both announce their divorce and celebrate their dissolved marriage with a playful selfie. Divorce is a life-changing decision that should not be made lightly; however, there is no reason not to celebrate the good times, if you so choose.