5 ways to prepare yourself before filing for divorce

5 ways to prepare yourself before filing for divorce

Telling your spouse you want a divorce is never easy. It’s safe to assume emotions have been running high for a while if you have reached this point. The divorce hasn’t even begun yet and you’re already feeling exhausted. To lessen the overwhelm, we have compiled a list of ways to prepare yourself before you file for divorce to be better equipped for the next stage of the journey.

  1. Upskill yourself on the divorce process by seeking professional support
    Although the actual process of filing for a divorce is relatively simple, every matter is unique in terms of living situation, the assets or debts you possess, and the reasons for separation. A skilled and experienced lawyer will be able to advise on your situation, the likely process, and the costs involved. Having a lawyer supporting you before you file for divorce eliminates one stressor on the other side and places you in more stable position to move forward. We can recommend you some great lawyers if you need!

  2. Get all your financial ducks in a row
    Rushing to find financial information after starting the divorce process may mean you miss important details in a flurry of emotions, so it’s best to gather it all now. Some assets and debts are obvious, but others not so much. You’ll also need to show your income through a copy of a pay slip and your most recent Income Tax Return. The following list are some considerations of assets and debts you may share together:
    • Property
    • Motor vehicles – cars, boats, caravans, etc.
    • Bank accounts
    • Pensions
    • Artworks 
    • Inheritances
    • Belongings of high value (such as antiques or collectable items)
    • Credit cards
    • Loans

  3. Find the dollar figure you require to live comfortably after the divorce
    What will you actually need from the divorce settlement to be able to stay financially afloat after the divorce? Now is the time to determine your post-divorce budget. Consider your future living arrangements, child support if applicable, groceries, bills, transport costs, and general living expenses. This will help you negotiate your divorce settlement and your options moving forward. Should the matter proceed to Court, it will also help you know what to ask for and, most importantly, you’ll be able to reason as to why you are asking for that amount.

4. Get a credit rating if you don’t already have one
If all the credit cards and loans were in your spouse’s name, you may find it difficult to get a loan or credit card post-divorce. Opening a credit account only in your name now and paying each expenditure back quickly may help build your rating and benefit you in the future should you need.

5. Keep your head high 
Not only is it important to take care of yourself because, well, it’s always important to take of yourself, but your behaviour will likely be under a microscope before and during a divorce, especially if you have children. Spend time with family and friends, stay close to home, and focus on your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. You may benefit from the support of a therapist or other support groups, such as Beyond Blue. Holidays, new relationships, partying, or any other behaviour that could be even slightly misconstrued as inappropriate, however, should be avoided as it could be used against you in Court.

Divorce is never easy, no matter who made the final decision. Being prepared can help ease some of the emotional (and financial) burden once proceedings begin. At Waters Lawyers, we do everything we can to minimise the stress involved and retrieve the best settlement possible for you. To arrange your initial non-obligational consultation at no cost, feel free to call our friendly team on (03) 5996 1600 or book online via our Bookings page.  

By Simon Varszeghy

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