One of the greatest mental hurdles I had to overcome when going through my divorce was that I had overcomplicated it and believed I had more influence over the system than I did. But, when it comes down to it, there are a couple of steps to it. It's us that make it difficult. Yes, each divorce is different and there are so many emotions at stake here. But, it will come down to rules and steps to take. So, focus on the process and not how you want to change it. Understand the game, not the player.
In most cases, legal separation is the first step. To get started, fill out a Divorce Separation Agreement. That's it. Now, it has started. Keep in mind that the quicker you submit documents and file for a divorce, the more amicable it can be. And, when I say amicable, it affects everyone, your relationship with your ex, your children, and your bank account if you hire an attorney. The agreement is temporary and protects both of you until the divorce is final.
After you've completed the agreements in the separation agreement, the next step is to file for a divorce. It's going to be easier if you both agree. Keep in mind, there's room for negotiations. Just keep them under control. I like lists because it limits the broad discussions. So, fill out a Divorce Worksheet so you know what's involved. Simply print it out and fill it in. It will open your eyes, but it narrows down any gray areas or questions you may have.
After negotiations are finished, it's time to fill out the Divorce Settlement Agreement and file for a no-fault divorce. If it emotions get out of hand, you may have to find a lawyer. I hesitate to make that statement because it is possible to get through this without paying thousands of dollars.
Keep in mind, that there are other ways to get legal questions answered without going full tilt and getting an attorney. You can also just ask a lawyer individual questions without putting down a $5k retainer.
Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful times in your life. If you're a dad going through a divorce, join our FREE private group by visiting our Divorced Dads Support Facebook page. Here you can ask questions or share stories with dads all over the United States.