42% of marriages end in divorce which means that 58% stay together. But what if you are in the 42%? What steps can you take to be prepared? Getting divorced is a highly stressful experience. It can be a lengthy process and will undoubtedly cause a surge of mixed emotions, including stress, guilt, loss and often anxiety. The division of a property, a home, a family, savings, and possessions is no mean feat. Knowing what to expect and getting yourself ready for the process will pay dividends.
We have put together the following steps to help you:
1. Get the right divorce solicitor for you.
Your solicitor will not just be someone who will guide you through the legal process of the divorce. A divorce can take up to 18 months so you will be working with them for some time. Make sure you feel you can relate to them and that they are someone you will be able to communicate openly with. There may be times when you will need to discuss sensitive and personal elements of your situation..
2. Set your first meeting
Horsey Lightly offers a fixed fee interview. Find out in advance what is on offer and how long a consultation will last. Use this meeting to briefly outline your circumstances and to find out what options you have. You may come away from the meeting needing some more time to process the information before starting the process.
3. Get your questions down on paper
You will have lots of questions running through your head and you may be taking in opinions and advice from every angle. Get yourself a notebook and write down questions as they arise. You can refer to this during meetings, email correspondence, or phone conversations with your solicitor. Writing things down is also a way of helping our brain to deal with things too. Remember, no question is a silly question. Your solicitor has probably heard them all before!
4. Get support
Make sure you have some emotional support. This may be a friend or a family member, or even an emotional coach or counsellor. Divorce is a stressful and emotional time and it is always good to have someone to talk to. Do remember, however, that the best support is from someone who listens, does not judge, and can remain neutral
5. Get organised
You will be asked to provide lots of information throughout the process. Start by gathering financial information which may include savings, mortgage statements, credit card statements, and bank statements. Keep everything in a file. The more organised you are at this stage, the easier it will be to move things forward. You will also need to show proof of income if you are working, as will your spouse.
6. Set your wish list
Have an idea of how you would like everything to be split. If you and your spouse can talk about this, then even better. Discussions could include where you are both going to live and how you would like to share the childcare if you have children. This is not to say that you agree on everything but the more you can discuss and agree together, the better it will be for everyone in the long run.
7. Set your expectations
Your future is going to look different. There may be a change of routine, a different home, or the need to return to work for a parent who may have been at home with children. Accepting the need for change and looking to a new albeit different future will help you to accept the situation..