What to do when filing for divorce to reduce the impact on children? Don’t ask them to take sides and to decide where they want to stay.
Try to work out the custody agreement with your soon-to-be-ex and leave children out of it. Thinking ahead about the custody plan and what is best for children is crucial when wondering in divorce what to do first.
Also, watch Tamara Afifi a Professor in the Department of Communication at UCSB explain the impact of divorce on children in the following TED talk.
5. Prepare your documents
Include the organization of documents in the preliminary steps to file for the divorce. The better your papers are arranged, the more money you will save.
If your documentation is a mess, your lawyer needs more time to go through it, thus increasing your bill.
6. Have a financial plan
Divorce will, undoubtedly, affect your finances. For some, losing the spousal financial support can be more than challenging, so planning ahead is wise.
The key to what to do first in a divorce regarding finances guides you to be careful before breaking the news. Make sure to:
Avoid unnecessary debt and reduce spending
Be mindful of using money from joint accounts
Determine and stick to a post-divorce budget
Save up, if possible, 3 months worth of financial resources
7. Get your own credit
Once you file for divorce, your spouse might cut your access to credit cards. When it comes to divorce and what to do first, it can be wise to apply for your own credit card and have it available until financial support is worked out in court.
8. Surround yourself with support
What is the first thing to do when getting a divorce?
Surround yourself with support from friends and family. Research shows that a mother’s adjustment to divorce appears to be related to the support provided by her social network.
Avoid going to your children to vent as that will impact their coping with the situation and relationship with parents.
9. Have a place to live
Many people try to understand what to do first in terms of living situations when it comes to divorce. Should they continue living together or move out?
In some cases, moving out could impact the fight over the ownership of the family home.
Although, if the home is not a safe place to be, secure a place to live before you file for a divorce. Consult with your attorney before you make any steps.
10. Build up tolerance and resilience
Counseling might not come as an obvious answer to ‘what to do first in divorce.’ However, having a marriage counselor can be as useful as having a lawyer.
A professional can help you prepare for, cope with, and discover strategies of dealing with divorce struggles. Taking the high road during divorce is not easy, yet it is important.
Anything can be misconstrued as inappropriate and affect the outcome of the divorce. Since taking the high road is not simple, a therapist can help you build up your tolerance and patience, so it becomes more plausible.
Divorce can be a tough experience requiring a lot of effort and adjustment. It is also a confusing time, making you ponder what to do before filing for divorce.
There are ways to make it somewhat easier by planning ahead and asking yourself in divorce what to do first.
When in doubt about divorce and what to do first, start by making sure you are certain you want to divorce and don’t use it as a threat.
Furthermore, before breaking the news to your spouse, you can do some other steps to protect yourself. Surround yourself with the support of family, friends, and professionals.
Having an experienced lawyer and counselor makes coping with the situation sounder and increases the chances of an acceptable outcome.
Organize your papers, look into your finances, and plan for the post-divorce living and economic situation. It will be tough, but you will get through it!
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.