I Think I May Be Getting a Divorce. What Do I Do Next?

By | Published On: August 30, 2013

The experts tell us that divorce ranks at the top of the list for stressful and even catastrophic life experiences. But even as you are trying to be clear about whether this is really happening to you, it’s crucial that you think strategically.

Here are four steps you can take to plan for – and secure – your future:

1. Clarify what you want

Whether your spouse or you seek the change, put time and energy into determining what you want. A therapist can help you decide whether staying in the marriage or leaving is right for you and your children. And a good marriage counselor can be invaluable if you and your spouse recommit to making your marriage work.

2. Identify priorities

You have control over how your divorce plays out. Try to imagine your and your children’s lives in five years, emotionally, financially and otherwise. Then, with the help of your family law attorney, develop a plan to secure what you will need to reach your goals.

3. Act with integrity

Don’t give in to impulses to move money, close credit cards, secrete valuables or tell others about your spouse’s behavior. If you can maintain trust with your spouse even while your marriage is dissolving, the two of you will have a much better chance of parenting together and preserving relationships with family and friends.

4. Be informed

Gather information about family income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Schedule an initial consultation with a well-regarded attorney who can advise you on custody, property, support, and “do’s and don’ts” of divorce and help you decide if litigation or settlement – through negotiation, mediation or Collaborative Law – is best for you and your family.