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The decision to file for divorce can mean chaos and confusion. It’s an emotionally tough place to be when the relationship you thought would last forever is going to end. No two divorces are ever the same, but here are some things to consider as you prepare to go through the process.

Think about what you will say when you talk to your spouse; be calm and discuss your situation in the least painful way for your partner and children. You may want to have an overnight bag packed in case you need to leave immediately if a cool-off period is necessary.

Do some pre-planning to consider expenses; put together a sensible budget in the event that you are the one who has to move out of the marital home. If you don’t work, you may have to consider getting a job. If you are the primary breadwinner, think about what your obligations are to supporting your family.

Consider getting a Post Office Box so that you are ensured that you receive all important paperwork regarding the separation or divorce.

Make a plan for your children. Children are the innocent victims of divorce, but this does not mean that they have to suffer for your decisions. Your attorney will know what child support payments and visitation rights are in your state.

Hire a good divorce lawyer. This is the most important thing you will do once you have decided to file for divorce from your spouse. Hire someone with whom you are comfortable, who will lead you through all of the legal maneuvers of a divorce – and there are many.

Consider mediation or collaborative divorce. In this process, a team of legal, emotional, financial and parenting experts may help you work through this difficult time with the least amount of damage. Working with mediators is also a more amicable way to get through the process, and it may save you some money.

Divorce is never easy, but having a plan can make it a more civilized process. To find an attorney in your area, consult our Online Legal Directory.

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