[I]t’s over. Or is it?

You’ve put up with so much for so long. You’ve been so unhappy. But today was it. Maybe it was one last argument. Or it could have been the stark, albeit unhappy realization that you just don’t love her and you never will.

So you are ready to take that scary step, the one that will affect you, your family and most of your relationships for the rest of your life.

So you’ve decided on the only answer: Divorce.

Now there’s much to do to make this difficult process easier for everyone.

Decision to Divorce: Make sure it’s over.

One recently divorced man said, “I just came to the realization that it was over. I just couldn’t take it anymore.” It’s not a time for blame, or regret. Move forward. Speak with an attorney about the difference between a divorce and a written, “Separation Agreement,” that details agreements while you and your spouse are apart.

Decision to Divorce: Make Copies

Copy every document from your marriage. Bank statements, mortgage, credit card statements, tax returns, any financial responsibilities, shared or solo. These will all come into play when determining the terms of your divorce.

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Decision to Divorce: Inventory Assets

Log all your assets before you start the division process. Don’t just itemize; you also need to determine the worth of each one. Some more tangible items will be easy; those that are more sentiment heavy will be difficult to ascertain. But it must be done in an objective way, after all, that’s how the courts will look at it.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Many problems can be solved by simply communicating. Many property disagreements crop up simply because the couples didn’t communicate. Communicate with the court, disclosure of property and assets is a must in all divorce cases. Communicate with your attorney, ask any questions of both your attorney and your spouse’s attorney. Be as clear as possible regarding any issue and you will avoid surprises later.

Next time we’ll discuss, “What you ‘shouldn’t’ do after determining to divorce.”

What other tasks should you immediately do after a decision to divorce?

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