By Julie Garrison
Special to DadsDivorce.com
After separation, your activities are going to change considerably.
If you are the one initiating the separation and subsequent divorce, chances are you have already lined up your finances, change in residence, and child custody priorities.
You may not have seen a divorce attorney yet, but you have probably begun setting plans in motion.
Secure Your Finances
The very first thing that you need to do if you see that a separation may be on the horizon or your wife may be initiating a separation, is to secure your finances. This may sound a tad bit mercenary, but you need to protect yourself and your children financially.
Check your bank and credit union accounts for recent activity. A wife considering divorce often takes out a “war chest” in the form of several large deposits in the months prior to separation.
If you see this happening, you may consider talking to your financial institutions and separating your money from your wife’s. Your banks’ financial officers may suggest all accounts be closed.
Get Legal Counsel
Meet with a family law attorney who is a men’s divorce advocate. He or she will help you prepare for your divorce and inform you about division of assets and debts, custody concerns, financial support matters, and much more.
The earlier you meet with a divorce lawyer, the less likely you are to complicate the divorce process for yourself down the line.
Consider a Collaborative Divorce
You and your wife may want to consider a collaborative divorce. Like its name implies, collaborative divorce utilizes one attorney for both of you.
All issues, such as child custody, support amounts, division of property, etc., are handled outside of court.
This path for becoming divorced is gentler, less expensive and much more emotionally supportive for both the husband and the wife.
Where You Relocate Matters Greatly
If you are the one relocating, consider living within the same school district that you are living in now. That way, it will be much easier to share custody with your ex and develop a workable parenting plan.
Look to the Big Picture
Stay away from the trap of “getting even” during a divorce proceeding.
Revenge does nothing but hurt the children. Besides, success is always the best revenge. If your ex is 10 minutes late in dropping off the children or commits some other minor infraction, just let it go.
Think of your children and keeping them out of the fray as much as possible. You want them to become happy, responsible adults.
Your reactions will influence them more than you can imagine. If you take the high ground in minor disputes, your children will see you as the emotionally balanced, decent human being you are.
Divorce can be very unsettling when it begins. Protect your finances, engage in legal counseling, and consider living close to your children.
Try to pick the best divorce route for the entire family. Soon your divorce will have concluded, and you can begin looking forward to a future of living life again at its fullest.
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Julie Garrison has been writing articles and short stories for the past 10 years and has appeared in several magazines and e-zines.