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What to do when you divorce

In the United States, the divorce rate for the first marriage is 41 percent.

The post-divorce period can be an opportunity to reinvent yourself and move on with your life. You had a life before you were married. You can have a good life after you get a divorce.

There are important steps to minimize the pains associated with parting ways with your spouse. Here are some of them.

Seek Legal Advice Early

Getting early counsel from a divorce attorney can help you properly handle the separation with your spouse. Get as much information as you can before you discuss divorce with your partner. Legal advice is indispensable in a process that will cost you and your spouse thousands of dollars, along with emotional stress.

Depending on which state you reside, divorce laws can be complex and the repercussions can be serious. You need to understand your options ahead of time. There are many factors to consider, such as child custody, alimony, and ownership of assets and debt, to name a few.

Get Counseling

Counseling may be able to save your marriage. Each year, thousands of couples go through the hassle (and expense) of a divorce only to reconcile a short while after.

Marriage counseling can help you understand where your relationship went wrong, how to cope, how to salvage the situation, or how to move on and find a new partner. Counseling gives you the benefit of a professional's opinions, and outside views will likely be more objective than your own.

Some spouses eventually realize that they should first resolve to save their marriage before contemplating a divorce.

Assess Your Sources of Income

What would your post-divorce life be like? Moving out of your shared home, taking care of the kids, and no longer sharing accounts with your spouse can have significant effects on money and finances.

Will you have sufficient income from assets, job, and government benefits?

If you are likely to get assets from the settlement, estimate how much income those assets will generate. Will you keep those assets or sell them?

Will you make enough money from work to be able to support yourself and your children? As a newly single person, will you be eligible for any government entitlements?

Seek Family Support

Getting family support will help you recover emotionally and psychologically from divorce. Don't just rant about what you went through to anyone who would listen. Stick to trusted family, relatives, and friends.

One of the fallouts of divorce is that some relationships and friendships can change. Seek out people who you can trust so that you won't feel as if you're going through a stressful time by yourself. Your friends and family can also learn from your ordeal so they can make better decisions in life.

Don't lose sight of the big picture. The post-divorce period is an opportunity for you to rediscover yourself, make improvements, and live in a better situation than before.