Starting This Year with Divorce? These 4 Best Practices Will Help
If you're starting this year off with a divorce, you're not alone. At our firm, we see an uptick in calls in January regarding divorce in DuPage County, Illinois. In fact, January is often dubbed “divorce month” because it is when people start gathering divorce information and it is often the start of the busiest quarter of the year for divorces.
However, we know that going through a divorce isn't easy. If you are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain as your divorce commences, these four best practices will help you gain confidence as you move into a new phase of your life.
Accept Your Emotions
Whether you or your spouse initiated your impending divorce, you are going to be emotional. Your feelings may vary day by day or even hour by hour. You may feel relieved one minute and sad the next. This is completely normal.
Try to notice and accept your feelings rather than fight them. Although it may sound counterintuitive, accepting your feelings (even the negative ones) is linked to greater psychological health. Talking about your feelings with a trusted friend or mental health professional can also benefit your mental health.
Learn About the Divorce Process
Most people going through a divorce are doing it for the first time. Not knowing what to expect can be a huge part of what makes a divorce feel overwhelming. And of course, the divorces that are publicized in entertainment news are the dramatic, contentious ones that last for years. This can add to your fears.
Spend some time learning about the divorce process. Knowing what to expect will calm your nerves and help you funnel your energy into preparing. Today, divorce isn't always a horrible experience. Our law firm prides itself on offering modern divorce solutions like divorce mediation and collaborative divorce. We also utilize technology such as text messages, digital chat tools, and online meetings to allow clients to work with us remotely where they are comfortable without having to unnecessarily come into our office.
Spend some time getting organized with a focus on your finances. Locate and get make copies or save digital PDFs of all documents related to your and your spouse's finances. Things like pay stubs, tax returns, asset lists, loan documents, and any other documentation of your and your spouse's assets and liabilities.
Being organized will relieve so much stress during the divorce process. When you're organized, you can quickly respond when your divorce attorney asks you for a financial document rather than having to spend an hour plus looking for what is needed.
Develop a Plan that Includes Advisors
Having a plan helps you feel empowered and like you have ownership of the process rather than feeling like you are just responding to what happens. Your plan should consider the logistics of the legal divorce process as well as the non-legal side of divorce. For example, on the legal side, you will need to plan to attend any required appearances like mediation or court hearings. On the non-legal side, you will need to determine where you will live during the divorce process and the cost of those arrangements.
You do not need to develop a plan on your own, and in fact, we don't recommend it. Use trusted advisors like your financial advisor and a trusted attorney to help you develop your plan and adjust it as needed. You may also want to have a plan to ensure your chosen divorce attorney is a good fit.
Birt Law's Modern Approach
The Law Firm of Erin N. Birt, P.C. offers a modern, caring approach for individuals going through an Illinois divorce. If you want to learn more about divorce in Illinois and how we use technology to make your experience easier, contact us today or call us at (630) 891-2478.