Divorce is often an overwhelming experience that can cause you anxiety and stress. Additionally, if you have never gone through the divorce process before, you are likely to have many questions about how to prepare.
The divorce process can indeed be complicated. However, some simple steps can make the process more manageable.
Ideally, you still have an amicable relationship with your spouse, but that is not true in all cases. No matter the state of your relationship, try to put your feelings aside and have a civil conversation with your spouse about the upcoming divorce.
When to file
Decide on the best time to file. You might want to rush out and file immediately, but if there is an important event coming up, such as an anniversary or a child’s birthday or if it is the holiday season, waiting until the event is over might be a better idea.
Divorce involves waiting periods. After you file for divorce in Utah, you must wait 30 days before you can obtain a divorce decree.
This waiting period is short compared to other states, some of which require three months or more before finalizing a divorce. However, unless your divorce involves no property or children, the divorce process will likely take longer, so having patience is necessary.
Sort out your living arrangements. Chances are, either you or your spouse are going to move out of your marital residence. Decide who is going to move out and remember that you are now going to be living off only one income. Create a budget based on your new lifestyle.
Create an inventory of your property
Property division is a common reason the divorce process takes so long. This involves splitting your marital assets and debts equitably.
Make a list of all your marital assets and debts. Obtain documentation for the value of each asset and the amount of each debt. You and your spouse are both required to submit financial disclosures with this information, and you must be thorough and honest in these disclosures.
You might be tempted to hide or downplay the value of certain assets, but this is a bad idea. There are ways to check the accuracy of numbers on financial disclosures, which means you are likely to get caught, and face penalties from the court.
Secure your information
Change the passwords to all your accounts. Even if you believe that you can trust your spouse, they should no longer have access to any of your accounts.
Likewise, open a post office box and have all divorce-related documents sent there. Using your home or new address if you have moved increases the chance that your spouse may intercept the documents. Many steps in the divorce process involve deadlines, so it is important that you receive all paperwork on time.
Social media is a big part of our daily lives. It is a place where many of us go to vent, share our thoughts or seek support from others. However, it is best to stay off social media during your divorce, especially if you have children and are going through the custody process, as well.
Anything you say on social media can potentially be used as evidence in a divorce or custody proceeding. Even innocent-sounding posts could be misinterpreted and viewed negatively by a judge.
Remember that divorce is difficult and do not be ashamed if you have feelings of anger, bitterness or sadness. Consider seeing a counselor or therapist to help you work through these feelings so you can focus on the practical divorce issues that you must address.