Getting a Divorce? How to Prepare for the Process With Dignity – Guest Post

Getting a Divorce

Getting a divorce doesn’t have to be acrimonious and mean-spirited. Even if the breakup is due to unpleasant circumstances, you might feel better heading into the future by ending your marriage thoughtfully and courteously. Make these arrangements when calm and unruffled by emotion for optimum results you won’t regret.

Divide Marital Assets

Make a list of the possessions you and your spouse have shared since being married. These typically include real estate, vehicles, furnishings, collector’s items, and other kinds of personal property. Often, each person has a personal vehicle, so that can be resolved easily. Pets, however, may require extra thought and negotiation. Ask your spouse to prepare a similar list and exchange them. Then find a quiet time to discuss any items you don’t immediately agree on, like lawn equipment or camping gear. Politely negotiate everything when feasible to avoid tension or conflict. This can be a hard part of the process, even though it’s all hard. Deciding how to divide up belongings is incredibly difficult and stressful. Make a list of all items and go through them together to decide who wants what.

Inform Family and Friends

Write a short note to include with a simple card of appreciation for their friendship or family love over the years. Briefly inform them of the pending divorce without throwing blame at the other person, especially if your spouse is their blood relative or close friend. The notice will explain the situation privately so they can be prepared for future family gatherings or greeting card exchanges and celebrations. This is something that is entirely optional, and definitely something that is not typical to do. In fact, to do this would be pretty odd, in the overall scheme of things.

Objectively Explain to the Kids

If you have children, try to organize a joint session with your spouse to explain gently to the kids what is going to happen. Reassure them that both parents love them and that their living situation will be a priority in terms of housing, school, church, etc. Answer any questions they have honestly but simply. As much as possible, maintain their lifestyle with limited or minor adjustments to avoid upsetting their routines and unleashing uncertainties. Get counseling for yourself and your kids after a divorce. It can be very psychologically damaging.

Consult a Divorce Attorney

Even if changes occur calmly, at some point you will need to contact a family attorney to organize the legal proceedings. Decrees of separation, child custody and support, and the distribution of marital assets will need to be established. Eventually the decree of divorce will be finalized as well. A family attorney can explain how the process works and what to expect as you move forward. A schedule of court appearances as well as preparatory documentation and discussion of legal fees can be covered in the meeting.


Although divorce can be cataclysmic for everyone in the family, do your best to manage the situation responsibly and respectfully. Protecting everyone’s rights and feelings will contribute to a smooth transition.

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