Divorce is a major life change with short-term and long-term consequences. The change overwhelms many people who don’t know what to focus on. As Indiana residents prepare for the end of their marriage, getting organized can help make the process as smooth as possible.
One of the first steps will be discussing divorce with your spouse. If you aren’t sure how to do this, you may want to seek out a therapist for support. It can be preferable to have this discussion in a neutral location away from the home or children. Plan this conversation away from holidays or other obligations so your spouse has time to process it.
You will also need to have discussions with your children, your family, and your close friends. If you share a business with your spouse you will also need to prepare for conversations with the people you work with.
Decide early on who you will lean on for support and resources during this transition. You can find emotional support from your family and close friends. You may also find specialized community support groups in your area. These may include groups for divorced parents, people with spouses with substance abuse issues or domestic violence. Finding others who understand what you’re going through can be helpful.
You may also choose to hire support for your emotional needs with a therapist, a financial planner if you feel overwhelmed by the financial decisions you’re making or an attorney to help understand your rights.
Divorce makes finances complicated.
You can start by putting together a folder of legal and financial documents like your tax returns, marriage license, estate plans, real estate documents, retirement accounts, insurance documents and any proof of ownership of belongings.
Protect your privacy and financial accounts by changing your passwords on all accounts. Even if your spouse does not know them they can often guess them.
Don’t overlook the importance of your credit score. With so many financial changes during a divorce, your credit score may be at risk. If you have concerns, you may want to set up a credit alert monitoring system, get identity theft protection and set up new accounts only in your name. As you go through these steps, keep a list of what you’ve done and haven’t done so you can remember later.
Preparing for the tough conversations, getting your support system behind you and protecting your finances are all important steps of organizing for a divorce. There will be more steps ahead so you will want to pause and calmly organize for each new obstacle as it comes up.