Headed for Divorce? You Need to Follow These Pro Tips

Deciding to split from your spouse is the first step in ending your marriage. Once you’ve reached this point, it’s important to know what’s on the horizon. Before you can begin living it up as a single guy or gal, there are certain steps you need to take. If you’re ready to take action, follow these 11 pro tips to ensure as smooth a process as possible.

1. Monitor your children’s behavior

father having conversation with son

It’s important to check in to see how your child is coping with the divorce. | iStock.com

Of course, children are the biggest concern for most parents, and it’s imperative a child’s well-being is closely monitored throughout it all. And don’t just go by what they say, as kids aren’t always eager to tell you exactly how they feel. “Children feel a sense of responsibility for the breakup no matter how much the parents state it wasn’t about them,” Leslie M. W. Doares, marriage and family therapist, told Woman’s Day. In turn, kids may start acting out. To combat this, it’s important to be open and honest with the entire family. Give your kids a chance to discuss the situation, and encourage them to process their feelings with you or a therapist.

2. Get off of social media

woman using Facebook on her phone

It might be a good idea to delete Facebook altogether. | Saed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Although it may seem obvious to keep your social life private from here on out — at least when dealing with your soon-to-be-ex — it’s a careless mistake many people make. And who could blame them? After all, posting pics of your latest trip with your new “friend” has become the norm in today’s society. But be careful with this one, as it might come back to bite you later on. Steve Eisman, New York-based matrimonial attorney, tells Fox Business, social media platforms like Facebook can be a divorce attorney’s best friend. So, don’t give your spouse’s lawyer any reason to paint you in a bad light.

3. Make copies of all your records

bank deposit slip

Keeping track of your finances is crucial. | iStock.com

Most couples share important documents and records, as there’s typically no reason to keep multiple copies lying around. But when a couple decides to divorce, it’s crucial each spouse has the documents he or she needs. While the Institute for Divorced Financial Analysts recommends making copies of all your financial records, your bank account and tax history aren’t the only matters that need monitoring. Be sure to make copies of anything and everything you think is important, like your children’s birth certificates and medical records.

4. Close joint accounts

retirement label on jar filled with coins

Be sure to close any accounts you may have shared. | iStock.com

Just because you and your spouse are on somewhat good terms going into a divorce, it doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Even if it does, it’s important you go about closing any joint accounts ASAP. The last thing you want is for your ex to be using a credit card that’s in your name just because you forgot to separate finances before you split. Divorce Magazine is spot on: This step is a must.

5. Remind yourself you’re not a failure

sad woman grasping her head

Just because you’re getting divorced doesn’t mean you’re a failure. | iStock.com

Going through a divorce is a grueling process, which is why it’s imperative you take care of yourself. At times, maybe you’ll want to change your mind because it seems like the easiest solution at the moment. Or perhaps, you won’t be able to stop thinking about things you could have done differently.

“You will have to remind yourself that you are not a failure,” Michelle Zipp says in The Stir. “That the relationship simply ran its course, it had an expiration date.” Beating yourself up over ending a marriage that simply wasn’t meant to be won’t do you any good.

6. Know that divorce takes time

money and gavel

Divorce isn’t an overnight solution. | iStock.com

You’re probably well-aware that divorce isn’t a quick process. So, just how long will it take? As Love to Know says, the simple answer is it all depends. There are lots of factors that come into play. After all, you and your spouse have shared everything for the past several years or decades. From shared groceries to joint finances to a single roof over your heads, your lives have fused together.

Undoing what’s been done will take time, so keep that in mind. There’s no quick and easy fix, so snapping your fingers won’t do the trick. Divorce is a major life event, and it’ll take time before everything is in it’s rightful place moving forward.

7. When in doubt, take the high road

Happy confident young woman

It’s best to keep things civil. | iStock.com/UberImages

Once you get into the nitty gritty of the divorce proceedings, always keep one thing on your mind: As hard as it may be at times, try your best to remain respectful. Even if your spouse starts hitting below the belt, try to take the high road. You’ll be happier for it, and it will show. There’s just no sense in flaunting your new relationship in front of your ex’s face.

8. Give yourself time to heal

woman meditating on the beach

Healing takes time. | iStock.com/kieferpix

Going through a divorce is no small feat, and the process can be taxing on your physical, emotional, and mental health. Taking time for yourself, though, is key, and you’ll be thankful you did. Your relationship took years to develop into what it eventually became, so give yourself a break. Keep in mind that your own personal healing process will take time, and that’s perfectly OK.

9. Deciding when you’re ready to date again is up to you

couple on a dinner date

There’s no right or wrong time to start dating again. | iStock.com

Listen, breakups are different for everyone. A couple could break up after dating for only six months and result in earth-shattering heartbreak. Or, a marriage of 30 years may be ending, yet both people feel like they’ve been out of the relationship for years. Because of this, The Huffington Post says there’s no right or wrong time to start dating after divorce. In fact, you’re really the only one who can make that decision.

10. Keep your families out of it

family

It’s best to keep your family out of it. | iStock.com

Everyone has an opinion, and if your family knows your spouse well — which they likely do — they’re probably eager to share their thoughts and concerns. The moment you drop the slightest hint of divorce, your family’s suddenly giving advice about what to do and what not to do. But the reality is, family opinions may do nothing more than muddy the waters. Whether you have absolutely terrible in-laws, or the best ones ever, keep them out of it.

11. Know you can always change your mind

Happy romantic couple embracing on the beach

It’s never too late to reconsider. | iStock.com/Ridofranz

By this point, we’ve assumed you’re pretty set on getting a divorce. But remember, you can always change your mind. Of course, the reasons should be valid, rather than fleeting ( I no longer want a divorce because the process is too time-consuming is not a good reason). However, there are plenty of reasons to reconsider. Just be sure you’re 100% positive before proceeding.