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What should divorcing spouses know before they file?

We have to make tough decisions in life in order to better our situations and be happier and healthier in the long run. The decision to pull the trigger on a marriage is one of the tougher decisions most people will have to make. It’s not easy, but if you’re in a toxic, loveless marriage, it’s important you get out of it as soon as possible.

Deciding to get divorced, however, probably isn’t the hardest part. It’s the process of untangling your life from your spouse’s, and the adjustment period of becoming single again, that really weighs heaviest. To help you through this period, the following information may help:

1. Give yourself plenty of time to recover

Everyone recovers from divorce differently and in their own time. You might think that you should be feeling happy and free, but six months down the line, you’re still feeling unhappy. Find a good therapist and don’t be shy about expressing your feelings. Make sure that you give yourself as much time as you need to recover.

2. Carefully choose whom you trust with your feelings

You may find that many friends and relatives are ready to lend an ear and give you advice about how to navigate your divorce. When it comes to legal advice, only take it from a trained and experienced family law attorney. When it comes to emotional advice, only confide in a mental health professional or the people closest to you whom you know will always have your back.

3. Take the time to understand your financial situation

You need to take a complete inventory of all the financial assets and liabilities that you and your spouse share together. Get familiar with the passwords for online accounts and make an inventory of joint and separate assets. This will help you when it comes to navigating the property division process of your divorce.

4. Estimate your future living expenses

Living as a single person is more expensive because you won’t have both your and your spouse’s incomes any longer. Make sure you have a workable budget and know how much money you’ll need to pay for legal costs as well as your and your family’s monthly living expenses.

Plan ahead for a smooth and stress-free breakup

Divorce does not have to be contentious or stressful. With sound and level-headed divorce planning and conflict- resolution skills, you and your spouse can divorce quickly, peacefully and economically.