- Taking your time
Starting the divorce proceedings is a life-changing decision that you shouldn’t be in a hurry to make. Other things like marriage counseling and reflecting and thinking about your future could help in identifying and overcoming the issues you might be facing.
- Getting legal advice
It is a good idea to know your legal rights and responsibilities and knowing what the process of divorce is. You will feel more in control and experience less anxiety. Make sure you choose a lawyer you feel comfortable with.
- Consider your options
There are a lot of things you have to consider – how are the children going to spend time with both of you, where you are going to live, the house that needs to be sold, etc.
Instead of trying to get answers to all of these questions, it might be better to start by looking at the options you have. Collaborative practices and mediation can help because you can reach an agreement on any issues in a helpful and dignified and family-focused way.
- Understanding your finances
Your legal advisor will need to know your current financial circumstance before they assess the fairness and reasonableness of a financial settlement. This is going to include your income, details of capital, and pensions.
It might also be a good idea to prepare a ‘budget form’ of your monthly expenses that looks at all your outgoings. This can come in handy when determining how they are going to be met in the future.
- Putting your children first
You will always remain as the parents to your kids, regardless of your status as a couple. When deciding on issues to do with the kids’ future, issues like the amount of time they get to spend with each parent, and where they live, it is best to do it in their best interests. When you build solid foundations as you get started with co-parenting, it is going to make things easier and will help your family for many years to come.
Communication is very important. If you are having a hard time with this, consider family apps like 2Houses and Our Family Wizard which you can download and start using. When you have a co-parenting plan in place, it is easier to agree on how the children are going to be brought up.
- Consider child maintenance obligations
If you are living separately from your kids, then there are financial obligations you have to meet. The Child Maintenance Service has an online calculator that will help if you aren’t able to reach an agreement.
- Self-care is important
Separation from your partner is going to be a very turbulent part of your life. Your loved ones around you can support you during these tough times. Seeing a counselor is a good option, see more if this is something you would like to do.
- Locating your marriage certificate
When filing a divorce petition, you have to include your original marriage certificate. If you don’t have the original, you can get a copy from the General Register Office.
- Updating your personal details/entitlements
If both of you are living independently after recently separating, then check whether you are eligible for a council tax discount. There might be other benefits like universal credit you might be entitled to.