Whether you were the one who brought up the idea or you were blindsided when your spouse broached the subject of a divorce, you're probably feeling at least a bit stressed at the moment. Even when you're certain that ending your marriage is for the best and you know you're working toward a more stable and emotionally healthy future, the most amicable of divorces can still bring anxiety.
Even setting aside the emotional aspects of ending your marriage, you are probably feeling somewhat nervous about meeting with a divorce attorney. Divorce may be something you never imagined yourself going through, so you may have no idea what to expect or how to plan. Take heart; you're not alone. Lots of people have found themselves in the same situation you are in now, and something that many find helpful is preparation. A little bit of planning can go a long way toward putting your mind at ease.
Preparing for your appointment with a family law attorney
Just like every marriage is different, so is every divorce. However, there are some commonalities and things that every lawyer will ask you to ready in preparation for your case. The more organized you are, the more smoothly the proceedings are likely to go and the less stress you'll have to endure. To that end, after you set up a meeting to discuss your situation with a family law attorney, you may want to begin preparing for your appointment by:
- Gathering your financials
- Taking a break from social media
- Educating yourself
- Looking at "big picture" goals
Gathering your financials
Getting your financial paperwork in order and having it ready to bring with you to your appointment will help your divorce lawyer assess which financial issues may arise in your divorce proceedings, especially in instances involving alimony or child support. While you probably won't have a complete summary of the previous year until the end of January or even later, you can still gather the previous year's tax return, along with bank statements, pay stubs and even credit card bills.
Taking a break from social media
It can be tempting to look for support from online friends or even just let off steam about your relationship difficulties, but social media can complicate any situation. You'll want to keep in mind that your ex-spouse's legal representative can use anything and everything you post online against you in court. So you may wish to refrain from posting online altogether or at least keep all comments lighthearted and unrelated to your marital status, your activities and your significant other.
Of course, your family law attorney will be doing the heavy lifting, so to speak, when it comes to in-depth legal issues, but you'll likely still find it beneficial to look up the basics of the divorce process in Colorado. Doing so can help you realize what questions or issues you may have in your own particular case, so that you can arrive at the meeting with your lawyer with a prepared list of concerns.
Looking at "big picture" goals
An exercise you may find helpful both emotionally and logistically is to prepare a list of your hopes and goals for the divorce, both what you'd like to see happen during the proceedings and for your life after you and your ex finalize the divorce. Concentrating on the long-term and trying to look at the positives this change brings may help you make it through some of the more stressful periods.
Even if you're not sure you need it yet, you may want to consider booking a session with a therapist. You might also want to confide in a few close friends or relatives for support at this emotionally tumultuous time. Even in the most amicable of divorces, you'll probably feel like you're on an emotional roller coaster at times. However, try to remember that this will pass. With the help of a knowledgeable Colorado family law attorney, you'll be able to move forward confidently toward a more stable future.