First Step in Divorce

The decision to end a marriage or life partnership is one of the most difficult things to do in life.

When you find yourself at this point, you clearly toyed with the idea and started a process in your mind of weighing up all your options. But is this really what you want to do?

It is important to start at the beginning: First things first.

Consider the reason why you find yourself in this situation. How did you get to this point? What did your husband/wife do to make you feel this way? Is he/she abusive? Is there a third party involved? Did you grow apart? Do you want different things? Is your spouse divorcing you?

Feelings of guilt and the practical implementation of a separation as well as financial consequences will play a huge part in the process leading up to a final decision. It is important to understand your own motivation and the reason why you believe that a divorce is the only way out.

Consider all your options and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is there anything that I can do to improve the situation?

  2. Is there anything that I want from my partner/an ultimatum?

  3. What about counselling?

  4. Am I taking full responsibilty for my own mistakes and actions?

  5. Am I trapped in an abusive relationship - either emotional, physical or both?

  6. Is there another way, for instance a trial separation?

  7. What about divorce mediation?

When you are emotionally drained it is often difficult to have a clear understanding of the divorce process, the legal consequences and what step to take first. The fear of the unknown and uncertainty about what the future holds can lead to feelings of insecurity and of being “stuck”.

Start with gathering the necessary information so that you gain knowledge of your rights and options.

It is important that you keep calm and take one step at a time. Knowledge is power. Start by booking an appointment with an expert divorce attorney to learn about your legal rights.

Often practical steps will bring more clarity.

Make a list of all the important documents and consider what you need:

  • A copy of your marriage certificate ;

  • A copy of your antenuptical contract;

  • A list of your/your spouse’s income and expenses;

  • A list of your/your spouse’s assets and liabilities;

  • A calculation of your financial requirements;

  • Do you/your children need to see a therapist to ensure that you are emotionally ready to take the next step?

  • Is your health taking strain in terms of depression, bad sleeping / eating patterns?

  • Do you need to consult with your doctor?

  • Do you have a support structure – family and friends?

It is not advisable to make any decisions about your future when you are hurt or angry. Make use of your support structure, ask questions, obtain advice. You owe it to yourself.

We are all unique with our own needs, desires and objectives. What do you stand for? What do you want?

Once you have made a decision, it is important to surround yourself with the right team of experts to guide you through the process.

If you have any questions and need to start 2017 with more clarity, book an appointment with us today.

“As I began to love myself, I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today I know this is AUTHENTICITY” - Charlie Chaplan

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