The French game of “effeuiller la marguerite” (he loves me, he loves me not) is often played by spouses as they wrestle with the idea of divorce. Understandably, when people are in emotionally-charged relationships, such as one between a married couple, it is difficult to clearly make decisions.
It is easy to go back and forth on this decision because divorce seriously impacts family relationships, financial situations, and kids’ schedules. Once you have decided that there is no other option but to divorce, consult this list prepared by our top rated divorce attorneys.
Still deciding on whether or not you want to get a divorce? See our earlier post detailing 10 things you should do as you contemplate this life-changing choice.
Our experience representing hundreds of clients as they navigate divorce has informed this list of ten things you have to do once you’ve decided to get a divorce.
10 Helpful Tips When You’ve Decided to Divorce in Michigan
- Think about how you want to tell your spouse about your decision
For those readers who came to this decision jointly and amicably, congratulations! You have already completed this first tip. If you’re like the vast majority of to-be-divorcees, you need to make a plan on how to tell your spouse. If possible, try not to have this conversation when there is upcoming travel, weddings, or other high-stress events. Seek additional support if needed. Obviously this should be a private conversation between the two of you unless you are concerned that your safety might become an issue. In that case, any discussion should be held in a quiet, but public location.
- If you have kids, start brainstorming ways to discuss divorce with them
Consider the age of your kids and the relationship you and your spouse have with them. Determine whether you talk about the subject together or if one of you will take the lead. Think about potential involvement of other adults in the process: school social workers, therapists, or other family members.
- Create a running list of your financial accounts and obligations
Sharing your life with a partner entangles finances. Who buys the groceries? Are there shared bank accounts? What about the mortgage on the house? Start making a running list of your financial accounts: checking, savings, and credit cards. Also, detail your obligations: media subscriptions, utility bills, daily expenses, camp deposits, tuition, school lunch money account, electronics, warranties, insurances, and vehicle payments. At what point will you separate your finances?
- Avoid sharing too much information on your social media accounts
Like toothpaste, once it’s out, it’s out. Putting too much information about your divorce or your spouse on social media can bite you later. It is important to use discretion about what you post, because your posts can be weaponized against you later. Our divorce attorneys know that social media postings often show up in court proceedings. Many family law attorneys advise clients to refrain from posting anything publicly about their divorce, spouse or children.
- Make a list of your legal questions
You can always add or subtract from your list of legal questions as you learn more about the process. It is important to consult an experienced attorney in order to ensure that your questions are answered professionally and confidently. Chances are that when you meet with one of our attorneys, we will answer many of your questions before you even ask them simply because we’ve done this hundreds of times.
- Consider upcoming changes to your estate plan
Do you have a will? Life insurance policy? Trust? Make sure that you consider what changes should be made now and when the divorce is finalized. Seeking legal advice can help to preserve your interests and avoid errors in your estate plan. It is important to speak with your family law attorney before making any important changes.
- Start to think about your living situation
Will you stay in the marital home while you go through the divorce? What about after the divorce? Is there a way to share your home with your spouse in the short term? If living in your current home or sharing a space with your spouse is impossible, start researching homes to purchase or rent nearby and get an idea for the market. Set money aside and calculate moving costs, if necessary. However, before you agree to move, run it by your attorney since relocating can have a significant effect on your divorce case.
- Inventory each person’s unique and shared possessions
Who owns the couch? It is important to list and rank in importance various household possessions. Many items are non-issues: your high heel shoes or your partner’s ties are personal property. However, many of the items in your house belong to both of you. Making a masterlist of these items will help you to make sure that any disputes over property can be worked out efficiently. Our family law lawyers also recommend taking lots of photographs and videos of all the possessions.
- Seek counseling support if you need it
Need to vent? If you feel like you need to work through your emotions, do seek support from a mental health provider, support group, or your doctor. It is important to recognize that you are not alone, and there are resources available to help you through this time.
- Find some time for self-care
Remember that this decision is difficult. Continuing to do things you love and taking care of yourself will help you in this new journey. Try to spend time with family or friends, enjoy the outdoors, or take up a new hobby.
The Kronzek Firm can help you navigate your decision to divorce!
Our skilled divorce law team is here to help you. If you are searching for expert legal advice, our firm has represented hundreds of people in Michigan in their divorces. To set up your free consultation today, call (517) 886-1000. We’re available 24/7, including nights and weekends for crisis intervention.