17
Sep 18

Preparing For Your Life As A Single Mom

First Time Mom

First Time Mom

Congratulations, you’re expecting! There’s no greater joy in life than having your first baby but if you are single or recently divorced, you may be worried about what your future looks like.

The good news is that with proper planning and the right supports in place, you can reduce your worries about raising your child.

 

Setting Up For Success

You may have been told that you’re going to be a good mom but between the overwhelming information you’ve received, the hormones coursing through you, and the doubts that every new mom feels, you may have a hard time believing it. To be successful, you’ll need to learn to rise above your doubts. Planning well can help you be successful.

Two important considerations you must plan, according to Parents.com, are:

  1. Ask yourself if you are up to the challenge. Becoming a new parent is difficult for anyone so don’t pretend this will be easy. Read the truth about being a single mom over at The Bump. They advise taking life one step at a time. For now, just concentrate on having a healthy baby.
  2. Can you support yourself and your child? Whether or not you are expecting child support, you should set a goal of being able to support your child on your own. Once your baby is born, you can start to plan for his or her future with these suggestions from The New Savvy.

 

Get The Support You Need

It’s important to get the best support that you can find. That, of course, includes family, friends, and loved ones and the best healthcare options. However, there is nothing like the camaraderie and support you will get when you network with other single moms. Look to your local faith or advocacy groups to find a support group. You can also try the Single Mothers By Choice website.

Next, you need to choose the right obstetrician. Mommy’s Memorandum advises finding one that has a lot of experience birthing healthy babies among their tips. Keep in mind that you may need a high-risk specialist and other health care providers if you are over the age of 35 or have health conditions that can impact pregnancy. The right team will keep you safe through this process.

You should also secure reliable childcare ahead of time. If you are lucky enough to have a family member to help you, be sure to have a backup plan for when that person gets sick or is no longer able to help. Check out these five steps to find reliable childcare in your neighborhood from MuchMostDarling.com.

 

Babyproofing Your Home

It’s never too soon to start babyproofing your home. As you get closer to your due date, you are going to be busier than ever with doctor visits and setting up your nursery. Now is the time to protect your home for when your baby crawls. Some things you’ll need in advance include:

  • Electrical outlet covers.
  • Childproof locks and window guards.
  • Baby gates, which are especially crucial if you have stairs.
  • Edge and corner guards if you have coffee tables with sharp edges.

Discover everything you need to keep your baby safe up to 16 months old at MamaNatural.com.

 

Preparing For Postpartum

Labor and delivery will be a whirlwind and, before you know it, you will be home with your little one. This is an important time for women. It’s crucial that while you are bonding with your child, you continue to get the care and support you need, including taking time for yourself and getting out of the house!

A good way to do this is to plan for your postpartum needs. Read this post on how to do that and download the printable worksheet at The Motherhood.

Single motherhood can be a joyful, amazing experience. Be sure to be well prepared for the journey with these tips.

 


15
Aug 18

Financial Planning for Parents: How to Get Started

Financial Planning for Parents

Financial Planning for Parents

Planning for your financial future can be one of the most stressful things you’ll do in your adult life, simply because there are few guarantees. You never know what life will throw at you or when, and if you are a parent—or are planning on having kids—it’s essential that you start making preparations for at least the next five or ten years. Having kids is costly—over $245,000 over the course of a lifetime, according to one study—and so is owning a home and vehicles. It’s also important to start thinking about retirement, even if you’re only in your 20s or 30s, since your cost of living will likely go up in the future.

Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do now to plan for your family’s future. From setting up a college fund to learning easy ways to save money, preparing for your financial needs now will save you a lot of time and grief down the road and will ensure that your children are taken care of.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started with financial planning.

 

Calculate your assets

One of the first important steps in figuring out what your financial needs will be is calculating your current assets. Your home, vehicles, savings accounts, and any major investments will need to be counted. Talk to a financial advisor and find out how much your home is worth first, since it’s likely to be your largest investment.

 

Create a budget

Creating a budget will help you start saving money quickly, so sit down with your spouse or partner and go over your weekly and monthly spending. Look at your income and think about which bills could be eliminated or reduced, such as swapping cable for a streaming service. This is also a good time to think about whether your family would be comfortable on just one income if you’re planning to have a baby and one parent wants to stay home. Don’t slash too much from your expenses when creating a budget because you’ll want your budget to be realistic so it’ll be easier to stick to.

 

Build up your savings

It’s important to have some savings, whether you want to have a nest egg or just a household maintenance cushion. Start building up the amount you put away every payday, and open a savings account that won’t be touched until you absolutely need it. You can also start thinking about a college fund for your child, even if you are still expecting. Schooling can be very expensive, so it’s never too early to start planning.

 

Appoint a guardian or executor

Once you become a parent, it’s imperative to create a will that contains your last wishes, including the names of those who will take responsibility for your child or children after you’re gone. It’s also a good idea to name someone to take over the duties of your estate. Think about your beneficiaries and how you’ll divide up your estate. While it’s not something that anyone wants to think about, it will go a long way toward giving you peace of mind now.

Planning for the future can be frustrating and stressful if you don’t have a good plan. Sit down with a financial planner or an accountant to go over your preparations, keep communication open with your spouse or partner, and think about what your family will need down the road, not just in the present. With the right preparations, you can ensure that you and your loved ones will be well taken care of no matter what life throws at you.


01
Aug 18

Tips for Finding a Marriage Counselor

Finding a Marriage Counselor

Finding a Marriage Counselor

Your marriage is important, and if you and your spouse are facing some difficult situations, it may be a good idea for you to find a marriage counselor and try to resolve your issues. However, while there are a variety of marriage counselors out there, it’s very important for you and your spouse to find one that works well for both of you. After all, this is supposed to be a joint arrangement, so you both need to be comfortable with your decision and the person you choose to help you. Be sure to use the below tips to try and find a marriage counselor.

 

Do your research.

Like anything else you’re looking into, it’s important for you to do your research on marriage counselors in your area. This can be done by researching different people online or by asking friends or family members for recommendations. Be sure you and your spouse do research and then compare what you find. This will allow you both to have an input on who you choose to help salvage your marriage in the best possible way.

 

Look at credentials.

When doing your research, be sure to look at the therapist’s credentials. Since your marriage is very important, you want to ensure the marriage counselor you choose is experienced and educated enough to help you. By law, these individuals are required to provide you with their credentials, so be sure to look when researching. If you can’t find anything, then be sure to ask the therapist about it.

 

Have a meeting.

You and your spouse need to be comfortable with your decision, and many therapists understand this, which is why they offer consultations for people looking for their services. Once you have come up with a list of potential therapists, be sure to set up consultations with those you like best. During these consultations, be sure to ask the therapist any question you may have and pay attention to how you feel when with them. If you and your spouse are both comfortable, then you may have found your therapist. However, if there is something that makes you uncomfortable, trust your gut and move on. Therapy is supposed to be very emotional and open, and if you are uncomfortable, it will only dissuade you from being open and honest during your sessions.

 

Factor in your specific needs.

While you need to put a strong emphasis on your dedication to saving your marriage, you also need to be fully aware of your specific needs and find someone who can help with this. For instance, if you and your spouse both work full-time jobs, you’ll need to find a therapist that has extended hours and can meet you in the evenings. You also need to know how long sessions will be and ensure you can make them fit into your schedule. Finally, you need to think about your specific situation and the therapist’s experience with it. For instance, if your marriage is suffering because of a substance abuse, physical/emotional abuse, infidelity, or any other issue, you want to know the therapist has experience in helping couples cope with the same situation.

 

Be willing to work.

You and your spouse will be responsible for working hard during your sessions to be open and honest, and most therapists will send you home with “homework” assignments to work on. If you are not willing to do any of this, you can rest assured your therapy sessions will not work in your favor and you may end up filing for divorce.

 

Finding the right therapist is important to help you salvage your marriage. Be sure to take your time and find the right one that works for each of you, and then be sure to take it seriously to get the best results.


17
Jul 18

Education Indoor Activities to Keep Kids Occupied on Rainy Days

Education Indoor Activities to Keep Kids Occupied on Rainy Days

Education Indoor Activities to Keep Kids Occupied on Rainy Days

Has rainy weather confined you and your children indoors? Chances are, you’re looking for ways to keep the little ones occupied. Luckily, the Internet is full of great indoor activities for kids that are both fun and educational. Try out some of these ideas the next time the weather isn’t cooperating. You may even have some fun yourself!

 

Keep Up the Exercise

 

Just because kids are stuck inside doesn’t mean that have to remain stationary. Encourage your kids to get active indoors by using online resources for ideas. Not only will this contribute to their overall health, but it also will teach kids the importance of being active every day. Get your children to participate in active play by leading games for them. For example, play a game of musical chairs, follow-the-leader, or hide and seek throughout your house. Kids also love acting out stories, so search for some kid-friendly drama games on the Internet. YouTube exercise videos are another fantastic way to keep children entertained while they dance and jump around the house.

 

Try Online Music Lessons

 

According to Bright Horizons, learning a musical instrument in childhood can boost brain development and help kids improve their language acquisition, reading skills and mathematical learning. However old they are, getting children involved in musical learning is simple with online materials. Try playing music and encouraging young children to sing along to help spark their interest in music and train their musical ear. If your kids are older, let them pick out a musical instrument and find some online music lessons so they can practice during rainy days.

 

Teach Them How to Cook

 

It’s never too early to introduce your child to the kitchen. This will help them learn about where food comes from and even encourage them to make healthier choices. Search the web for some simple recipes you can make with your kids. Give them important tasks to do such as measuring ingredients or tearing lettuce for a salad. If your kid is old enough, this is a good time to teach them how to use a knife properly.

 

Help Them Become Little Scientists

 

Rainy days are the perfect time to break out the science experiments. They’re fun for kids of all ages and help them learn about the nature of the world around them. There are plenty of great ideas online that use basic household items you already own. For example, this rainbow magic milk experiment is sure to be a hit with the kids and gives you an opportunity to teach them about the interactions between everyday substances.

 

Find Fun Ways to Practice Math

 

Parents are often looking for ways to help support their children’s education at home. Finding ways to apply mathematical learning to real-life situations is an excellent way to do this. According to Motherly, many of the math concepts taught in school can be transferred to the home. Try having your kids count, sort and organize coins. Or, talk about volumes and measurements as you bake some goodies. You can also find plenty of interesting real-world math activities online. These include interactive lessons and practical problem-solving questions that can help your child think about the real-world applications for mathematical concepts.

 

Cater to Their Creativity

 

Believe it or not, drawing can also be an educational activity for kids. In fact, drawing is often described as an intellectual activity since it helps kids understand the world. The activity allows children to form and conceptualize ideas about their surroundings. Online art lessons and drawing tutorials can help kids learn about perspective, symmetry and the different shapes that exist around them. Plus, learning how to translate creative ideas onto paper will give kids a valuable means of expression and can really boost their confidence.

 

Rainy days shouldn’t be an excuse for your kids to watch TV or play video games for hours on end. Encourage them to get up off the couch and have some active and educational fun. They may not even realize they’re learning valuable life and academic skills in the process. Enjoy your family bonding time indoors and don’t forget to have some


13
Jul 18

6 Mistakes to Avoid During a Legal Separation

National Family Solutions is very affordable solution when you are faced with a family law issue.

6 Mistakes to Avoid During a Legal Separation

Before opting for a full-fledged divorce, some couples decide instead to do a legal separation. What this means is that you have filed your separation with the courts to make it legal, but you are also still legally married. For some people, legal separation is exactly what you need to work on your marriage and take the steps necessary to salvage your relationship. However, for others, this legal separation forces you to lean that the marriage cannot be saved, and the divorce becomes inevitable. If you are currently undergoing a legal separation, here are six mistakes you must avoid.

 

Mistake #1: Keeping joint accounts.

Even if you hope your marriage ends up working out, it’s still important for the two of you to be individuals, and this means handling your own money. If you have joint accounts, you make it easier for one of you to do something stupid that cannot be undone and bring more harm than good to the relationship. As soon as you decide to do a legal separation, be sure to close all joint accounts and instead open individual ones.

 

Mistake #2: Not following the terms of the agreement.

During a legal separation, a lawyer or legal aid will write up a separation agreement for the two of you to follow. This document will spell out all the rules you and your spouse need to follow while you are separated. If you break any of these rules, you could find yourself facing serious consequences or putting yourself in a bad financial situation. Instead of taking that risk, just make sure to adhere to the agreement.

 

Mistake #3: Overspending.

While you’re on your own, it may be exciting to want to spend a little bit of money on yourself. While you most certainly deserve it, overspending is not a good idea, especially right now. For instance, if you do end up getting divorced and this big purchase or lavish vacation shows up on your financial history, your ex could accuse you of spending marital assets in a selfish way, and this means you could end up having to somehow put that money back. If you really want to overspend on something, wait until after you have salvaged your marriage or finalized the divorce.

 

Mistake #4: Oversharing.

Today’s plethora of technology makes it easy for you to share your feelings and life story with people you haven’t seen face to face in years (or ever). However, airing your dirty laundry on social media could come back to bite you in the butt. First, your private life is nobody’s business but your own. Second, any of this information is now public, and you need to be aware that anything you say could come back and be used against you during a divorce proceeding.

 

Mistake #5: Getting into a new relationship.

Your legal separation is a time where you’re supposed to be focusing on the future of your current relationship, not starting a new one. It is not a smart idea for you to start a new relationship during this time, especially if there is any small chance your marriage could  be salvaged.

 

Mistake #6: Not being realistic.

As mentioned above, some people can get back together after a legal separation and some can’t. However, what you need to do is just be realistic about your situation and decide on the outcome that must be made. For instance, if you and your spouse are getting along and things are looking up, then maybe you get back together. If neither of you can stand the sight of one another, then it’s best to file for divorce.

 

A legal separation is a good way to make the right final decision on your marriage, but it’s very important you don’t make any of these mistakes while it’s happening.


06
Jul 18

How to Talk to Your Toddler About Divorce

Divorce

How to Talk to your Toddler About Divorce

Nobody gets married and hopes one day to get divorced, especially after you have children. However, things happen and people drift apart, and sometimes divorce is the only solution. When you have kids, though, divorce becomes tougher, especially when the children are young. Talking to your child about divorce is important, but when your child is a toddler, it’s hard for them to comprehend what’s happening and why. However, open communication is still key, even if it’s limited, and below are some tips to help you talk with your toddler about divorce.

 

Pick the right time.

Toddlers have no concept of time, and they often forget things very quickly. Because of this, it’s necessary for you to pick the right time when it comes to talking with your toddler about divorce. For instance, be sure you talk to them right before the separation is happening. This way, your child will not be confused as to why they were told Mommy or Daddy would no longer be in the house, but will see it in action right away. As for timing, it’s also important to do this when your toddler is alert and awake, so keeping them up late or doing it during nap time will only make the situation worse.

 

Talk together.

Your toddler needs to see both parents as a team, so it’s important you talk to him/her together. Sit down with your toddler as a united front and tell him/her that Mommy and Daddy will no longer be living in the same house. Use this time to be positive with your child, and don’t use it as a time to start pointing blame or talking poorly about the other parent. Again, doing so will only make the situation worse.

 

Keep it simple.

Your toddler is good at understanding, but complicating things will only confuse your child. Instead, keep the communication simple and straightforward. For instance, “Mommy and Daddy will no longer be living in the same house. Mommy will live (insert place) and Daddy will live (insert place).” There’s a chance your child may ask why, and again, you need to keep this communication simple. Getting into specifics is not necessary at this time.

 

Stay positive and reassuring.

Repetition is key for a toddler, and following a schedule is something you’ve done for a while. Because of this, you need to stay positive with your toddler. Reassure your child that both Mommy and Daddy love him/her very much and will both still be taking care of him/her. Always talk nicely about your ex with your child around to keep a positive relationship between your child and your ex.

 

Make it consistent.

Since schedules are important, it’s a good idea to make the custody arrangement consistent between you and your ex. For instance, have you and your ex keep the same days/time for spending time with your child, i.e., Mommy has the child on Mondays and Wednesdays and Daddy has the child on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This will help your child think of the divorce as more routine than anything.

 

Consider a therapist.

Sometimes even toddlers can take divorce relatively hard, so if you notice signs of trouble with your child after the divorce, consider seeing a therapist

. Your child will have someone safe they can talk to, and it can be just what your child needs to help process what’s happening and help them find a healthy way to convey their feelings.

Although you may not think your toddler will understand the divorce, it’s still important to talk with him or her about it.


11
Jun 18

How To Financially Protect Yourself During Divorce

Filing for Divorce

Financial Protection During Divorce

While it may seem stressful at the time, doing it will keep you financially stable during the divorce proceedings.

Have a prenuptial agreement.

The best way to protection your finances during a divorce is to have a prenuptial agreement signed before you get married. For many people, this is a very hard and awkward conversation to have, but if each person is coming from a different financial background, it’s often a necessity. However, if you didn’t have a prenuptial agreement signed, you’re not completely out of luck in the finance protection department.

Cancel joint checking accounts.

If you have a joint checking account, the first thing you should do is cancel the joint account and open up separate checking accounts. Be sure to have your paychecks and any other additional income sources rerouted to the new bank account. If you have money in a joint savings account, the courts will usually put this money on hold until your assets have been determined and split appropriately, or that money will be placed in escrow and used to continue paying joint bills (such as home utility bills or debts).

Cancel joint credit cards.

If you have joint credit cards, it’s also important to cancel these and have individual accounts opened for each of you. This way, your ex cannot spend money on your card and expect you to pay the bill. Keep in mind that if there is a hefty balance to a credit card, it may be impossible for you to close the account until the divorce is finalized. If this is the case, ask the credit card company to put a freeze on the account until the divorce has gone through.

Change names on important documents.

After your divorce has been finalized and your assets have been legally divided by the courts, you need to ensure you change names on any important documents. For instance, be sure to change the name on house deeds or car titles. You’ll also want to go through and make adjustments to the beneficiaries listed on your retirement plans, life insurance policies, wills, and other investment accounts you may have. The last thing you need is for your ex to benefit off of anything happening to you because you forgot to make the necessary adjustment to these documents.

 

Make smart financial decisions.

Your divorce will be a lifestyle change, and it’s important for you to make smart financial decisions during and after your divorce. For instance, if you and your ex are trying to sell your home, it may be a better idea for you to stay with family until the divorce has been finalized. Otherwise you could end up spending money on the current home you’re trying to sell as well as a new place, and that’s hard to do on one income. In addition, you may want to consider downsizing since you’ll only have one income going forward. Be sure to take a hard look at your own individual finances and create a budget that works best for you.

Check your credit report.

During and after the divorce, be sure to check your credit report often to ensure your ex didn’t incur any debt in your name. While you would hope this wouldn’t happen, it occurs more often than not in some situations. However, keeping an eye on your report allows you to stop an error before it spreads into something much more expensive. Using tools like Credit Sesame to alert you to credit changes can help make this task easier on you.

Getting divorced is expensive, but if you know how to plan ahead, you can keep yourself protected from a bad financial situation.

 


07
May 18

Joint Custody and Summer Vacation: How to Make It Work

Joint Custody and Summer Vacation

Joint Custody and Summer Vacation: How to Make It Work

Many divorced parents today see the beauty and benefits in joint custody, and many are opting to go this route to ensure each parent has a significant say in their child’s upbringing. When you have joint custody, you’ll likely have parenting plan to follow from the courts; however, many parents find that extended vacations, such as summer break from school, means adjusting these schedules to better fit the parents’ and child’s needs. If you and your ex have joint custody, here are some great ways to make summer vacation work for everyone.

Consider your child’s schedule.

If your child is involved with summer activities, such as a sports team or a camp, you want to keep this in mind when determining your schedule. For instance, if your child has camp every Tuesday and Thursday, it’s not fair for the same parent to have the kid on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as this means the child isn’t spending time with their parent but instead at camp. Make sure both parents are handling the child’s schedule equally and that the child’s schedule doesn’t interfere with time away from one parent over the other.

Consider your own schedule.

Aside from your child’s schedule, you also need to think about your own. For instance, if you travel for work, then see if it’s possible to work your custody schedule out so you have your child when you’re in town and they’re with the other parent while you travel. In addition, if you have different work schedules (for instance, you work third shift while your ex works a traditional 9-5), then be sure to factor this in when determining the summer schedule. It’s not fair for one parent’s time to be given if they cannot actually spend time with the child.

Try finding consistencies.

No child wants to bounce back and forth between their parents’ houses every day and having a schedule that’s confusing will make it hard for your child to have plans. Instead, try to find a consistency that works for everyone involved. For instance, maybe during the summer months you opt for an every other week schedule, which means the child is with one parent for a whole week, the other the next, and so on. This way, both the parents and child know where the child will be and when, which makes it less hectic for your child and easier for parents to plan their own schedule.

Take vacations into account.

Summer is often a popular time to take family vacations, so be sure to talk to your ex if you plan to take a vacation with your child. Knowing this information ahead of time will ensure you each have the opportunity to take a vacation with your child as well as ensure each parent is getting equal time. Also, be sure your vacations are within reason. For instance, your ex will likely have a problem if you wanted to take the child on a vacation for the entire summer.

Make it work logistically.

Obviously, logistics will play a huge role in how your summer schedule works with joint custody. For instance, if you and your ex live near each other, it won’t be hard to split time in an equal way. However, if you live in another state, then you’ll want the schedule to make sense so you’re not spending all your time with your child in the car.

The best way to make a summer joint custody arrangement that works is to communicate with your ex. If that doesn’t seem to help, there’s always the possibility of seeking mediation or going back to court to let a third-party settle your dispute.


30
Apr 18

What’s the Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?

Legal Separation or Divorce?

Legal Separation or Divorce?

When facing trouble in your marriage, couples typically have two options: legal separation or divorce. However, these two things are actually very similar yet very different, and it can confuse some people. In the eyes of the law, the difference between legal separation and divorce is that with legal separation, you and your spouse are living apart but still married, while with a divorce your marriage is legally over. There are other factors to consider when determining if legal separation or divorce is the right option for you and your spouse.

 

Separation vs Divorce

Legal separation is less final than a divorce. Most couples who are trying to decide if their marriage is salvageable often opt for legal separation first. This gives you time to live apart yet still work on the things that are important for you. During a legal separation, you will file this with the courts, and the courts will decide on important factors for you, such as child support, custody arrangements, division or marital assets, etc.

 

During your legal separation, you and your spouse must live in separate homes. However, during this time, you are still legally married, and neither of you are allowed to get remarried or commit adultery. Should either of you do, you could be at fault of breaking the terms of the legal separation agreement, which could negatively affect you.

 

In order to receive a legal separation, neither party must be at fault for committing adultery or for abandonment. If this is the case in your relationship, the court may not allow you to file for a legal separation.

 

Should you and your spouse decide to divorce after the legal separation, all of the details determined during the separation (child support, custody, etc.) will usually just remain the same during the divorce proceedings. This usually allows the divorce to take place in a more expedited fashion and makes it easier on all those involved.

 

Divorce, on the other end, is a legal separation of your marriage, which means the relationship is officially over. During a divorce, all your assets must be divided, and the court will also decide on child custody, child support, etc., if it has yet to be determined. Once your divorce is finalized, you are allowed to legally remarry, and a divorce is allowed by the courts even if abandonment or adultery is committed by you or your spouse.

 

Benefits of Legal Separation

Although choosing legal separation or divorce is a very tough decision to make, there are some benefits of choosing legal separation vs divorce:

  • It gives you time to work on your marriage: Sometimes couples face problems that need to be worked on, and a legal separation allows you to work on those issues while still having your time apart. In some cases, couples who are legally separated work through their issues and end up getting back together and saving the marriage.
  • It gives you time to think: The hardest part about getting divorced is the major change it brings to your life, such as living alone and being financially independent. For some people, this time apart allows you to think about what you really want, how you’re feeling, and to see if salvaging the marriage or divorce is the better option.
  • It can be less stressful: Legal separation can be stressful, but some people find that it’s often less stressful than actually getting divorced. Especially if you decide to end the marriage down the road, being legally separated first allows you to have most of the important issues determined ahead of time.
  • Easier on the children: If you have children, it may behoove you to give your marriage a fighting chance for the sake of the kids. That is if you can work on establishing a peaceful marriage. One of the main battles in any divorce is the child custody part. During a separation, you can test out different child custody arrangements should you eventually get divorced.

If you and your spouse are facing some serious issues, it’s time for you to decide if legal separation or divorce is the right option for you.


21
Mar 18

When You Know You’re Filing for Divorce

Filing for Divorce

Divorce decree, gavel and folder shot on warm wooden surface

Sometimes your relationship gets to the point where divorce is the only solution. When this occurs, you need to ensure you’re prepared for what’s to come before you actual file the paperwork. That’s because divorce can be a very lengthy, emotional, and stressful process, and if you’re not completely prepared from the beginning, it could take a toll on how the rest of it is handled. When you do the following, it can help you be more prepared for what’s to come.

 

Be sure about your decision.

The last thing you want to do is tell your spouse that you want a divorce when deep down you really don’t. Before you start planning for your divorce, it’s important to make sure this is exactly what you want. Be sure to try talking with your spouse first about your feelings to see if your unhappiness is something you can work on. You should also try couple’s counseling and see if a professional can help you work out your differences. If you find that all of this doesn’t change the way you feel, then you’ll know you’re making the right choice.

 

Have your finances in order.

If you and your spouse share money, you’ll want to ensure you have finances set up for yourself. Divorce can be very expensive on its own, but you’ll also need money to cover your living expenses going forward. While you don’t want to start stealing money from your joint account, you do want to be prepared with what you can. Open a checking or savings account in your name only, or open some credit cards in your name only. This way, you’ll have access to finances if your joint account becomes frozen during the divorce proceedings.

 

Know where you’ll go.

When you and your spouse live comfortably in your home, divorce will make one of you need to leave. Deciding who will need to find another place to live isn’t always easy, and if you’re the one willing to leave, then you need to be prepared with where to go. This is when it’s important to either have another place of your own ready, or when you need to get family or friends involved as a temporary place to go. If you are the one asking for divorce, it may be better for you to line this place up ahead of time so that it doesn’t become awkward when you tell your spouse it’s over.

 

Keep calm and collected.

Divorce can be stressful, and it can take a toll on your personal and professional career. If your divorce is coming out of the blue to your spouse, then you can expect some type of drama to occur. While you may want to give into the drama, it’s important that you don’t. Not only do you need to stay calm and collected, but you need to be mindful of how you act and what you say, as all of this can come back to haunt you when the divorce proceedings occur.

 

Even if your decision for divorce seems to come out of the blue, it’s extremely important that you use this information to be prepared for what will come.