Divorce is difficult. Apart from tending to the emotional aspect of a break-up, the financial implications that come with it are not easy. Even though divorces can be heartbreaking and brutal, knowing what to expect can ease some of the anxiety caused by the fear of the unknown. Here are some helpful tips on how to prepare for a divorce.
1. Make a decision.
Before you file for or agree to a divorce, make sure you have exhausted all possible avenues for reconciliation. Once the decision to proceed with the divorce is final, consider the type of divorce you want and the alternatives available to you. For instance, if you have no dependent children, mediation can be key to a faster and more peaceful divorce.
2. Find an experienced divorce attorney.
It can be difficult to know where to turn to for legal counsel when facing a divorce. Before you decide on your legal counsel, interview at least three family and divorce law attorneys. Referrals from your insurance company, family members, or your online community can be a good place to start. As you interview prospective attorneys consider their rates and if you can afford them.
A good divorce attorney should be a good communicator for you to trust that they will articulate and protect your interests. They should have the legal knowledge and expertise specific to your need with at least five years as a practicing attorney. Finally, they should be local to your area to understand state-specific divorce laws to offer relevant legal counsel.
3. Update any shared insurance policies.
The three common types of insurance that need during a divorce settlement are your life insurance, health insurance, and your home and contents policy. Implement updates to your life insurance policy before the divorce is final.
Depending on the type of life insurance policy term life insurance, or permanent life insurance, consider who will keep up with the premium payments and if the beneficiaries will remain the same. If your family is dependent on your spouse’s health insurance (often one that is provided by an employer), update your health insurance policy by negotiating to have your spouse continue to cover your children.
Finally, if you own a home together, update your home and contents policy to either reflect the new name of the homeowner or to reduce the cost of the policy premium.
4. Avoid social media.
Divorce often unearths feelings of betrayal and anger, and it may be tempting to take to social media and vent out your frustration. Do not allow yourself to fall into these social media traps as they may be used against you in the divorce proceedings.
While anger and resulting feelings of frustration are valid and expected, do not allow these feelings to corrode or define who you are.
5. Figure out your living situation.
Consider your living arrangement during the duration of the divorce. For instance, will you be sharing a home with your spouse during the time it will take to finalize the divorce proceedings? Consult your attorney on the best living situation for you.
6. Find support.
As isolating as divorce may feel, remember that you are not alone. Surround yourself with people who affirm and support you. Seek advice and support from friends who have been through a divorce. If possible, speak to a therapist or trained mental health professional to help you sift through your feelings. Remember that although divorce is difficult, you can get through it with the right support.
Understanding that divorce is not easy, taking the time to consider these steps will make the process more bearable. You can find more life insurance information at iSelect.
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