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Simple tips to help you prepare for the divorce process

When you tie the knot, you never assume you'll one day be discussing divorce with your spouse. Unfortunately, a good marriage can take a turn for the worse at some point, thus putting you in a difficult spot.

If you've discussed divorce with your spouse and realize that it's time to push forward, it's imperative to get in the right frame of mind. The steps you take from start to finish will dictate your success to a certain degree.

Here are several tips to follow as you prepare for the divorce process:

  • Don't discuss the details too soon: Many people make the mistake of diving into the details of the divorce right after deciding to split. This is a mistake, as tension is high and you may not be in the right frame of mind. There is plenty of time down the road, such as in mediation, to talk about property division, child custody, child support and other similar matters.
  • Support your children: Divorce is hard on you, but it's just as difficult for your children. Let them know what's happening, explain what's to come and make it clear that you and their other parent are available to help them through this challenging time.
  • Create a property division checklist: This can help you organize your assets, while also ensuring that your spouse doesn't attempt to hide anything from the court. You can also create a debt checklist, outlining any liabilities that you share with your spouse.
  • Do your research: It's okay to rely on your legal team and the court for guidance, but you always want to collect as much information as possible on your own. Focus on things such as where and how to file for divorce, child custody and support laws, alimony rights and the mediation and litigation processes.

As you prepare for the divorce process, don't be surprised if you face a few challenges that appear insurmountable. Even when your frustrations are high, stick with your plan and move forward one step at a time.

When you understand how divorce works and the ways to protect your legal rights, you'll feel better about what's to come and the life you're able to live once this rough patch is in the past.

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