Divorce is rarely easy for anyone. Even if you and your spouse agree that divorce is the best decision, and still have an amicable relationship, the divorce process can still be emotional, unpredictable and complex.
Change and uncertainty are hard for everyone, and although you cannot entirely predict how your divorce will go, or what your life will look like after it, there are some things you can do to make things easier.
Divorce costs money and requires patience
Prepare to spend money and do some waiting. Most divorces cost money. There are usually filing fees and court costs involved with filing a divorce.
There may also be costs associated with property division, such as selling a house or dividing retirement accounts. Learn about all potential costs involved and plan for how you are going to manage them.
Even the simplest divorces take time. Tennessee requires you to wait 60 days after your divorce petition is filed before you can finalize your divorce, or 90 days if you and your spouse have children.
Get your paperwork together
Begin to gather and organize all your financial documents. This includes mortgage documents, bank account statements, insurance information, retirement accounts, tax returns and documents related to debts or loans.
You should also gather paperwork such as your marriage license, driver’s license or estate planning documents. Keep everything in one place, preferably in both electronic and paper form, so you can access it easily.
Develop and maintain your privacy
Although you may trust your spouse, you should still take steps to ensure your privacy during your divorce. The point of divorce is to separate your life from your spouse’s.
Remove your spouse’s name from any accounts whenever you can legally do so, change your passwords, and if you are still living in the same household, consider renting a P.O. box to make sure you receive all divorce paperwork.
This may all sound overwhelming, and that is understandable. A divorce attorney is a valuable resource for taking you through the process one step at a time.