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How To Approach Divorce In 6 Steps

The 6 steps that get you closer to resolution, faster

If you have found this article, it's probably because you are wondering how to approach divorce. You may be the person initiating the divorce, you may be the other party or you may be creating the process together.

Either way, the good news is you are not alone! Getting a divorce is not something very few of us plan to do. However, if you are in that place, there are a myriad of questions to resolve.

Most people do not anticipate how much joy can be in store for them once they realize they are getting divorced. This is likely to threaten you, even if your divorce is not your choice and the choice was made for you by your spouse. There is a sense of opportunity and potential freedom that can develop, even if the initial feelings are loss, remorse, remorse, set up, or fear and anxiety.

If you've got your first appointment with a divorce lawyer coming up, check out The 6 Steps to Being Prepared.

Ready to rebuild your life after Divorce?

Here are my top 6 suggestions or strategies for rebuilding your life after divorce.

How to approach divorce so you get from where you are to where you want to be

How you approach your divorce “ coming out of the gate ” will greatly impact how your matter unfolds. That is why you want to move forward with the business of getting separated and divorced while rebuilding your life at the same time.

You don't have to wait until all the steps are “ done ” before getting on with things. However, dealing with each one will have a positive impact on your ability to resolve a matter. I hope you find them helpful! 

Do you have a Divorce Checklist?

Here's a completely free Divorce To Do List: a Checklist for Being Prepared for the Legal Process

#1 A solid foundation and your first conversation

Approach your divorce starting with a solid foundation. When you have a solid foundation, it will establish how your divorce process will move forward. It will also likely impact your co-parenting relationship if you have children.

And it will likely save you money. Building your foundation starts with your first conversation. If you are the one who is ending it, you want to ensure that the first conversation is clear, planned, and civilized.

You are advising your spouse you are separating and getting divorced. This is not the time to talk about whose fault it is (you probably have already had those conversations). This is not the time to change your mind or waffle back and forth (you have probably already done that about a thousand times too).

This is not the time to get into further arguments (you probably have already done lots of that as well).

What you CAN do in this first conversation is set the tone. That is, set the tone of collaboration. Make it clear to your spouse that you want to separate and that you want to do it as peacefully as possible.

#2 Getting initial legal advice

Whether you are the person initiating getting a divorce, you are the second party or you are working together, you do not have to retain a divorce lawyer immediately, although many people do. 

Although you may want to hold off on hiring a lawyer, you do want to get an outline of your legal responsibilities and rights regarding your unique circumstances. For example, where I live, we have “community property”. That means you usually share any growth in the value of your assets during the time you were together.

However, if you are ready to speak to a lawyer, this article on the 6 Steps to Being Prepared for Your First Appointment With a Divorce Lawyer has everything you need to know.

Also, in my jurisdiction, when someone inherits something, it is considered “excluded” and is not counted as part of community property, at least the original value of it.

This kind of stuff you want to know before moving forward with any negotiation. 

Know what you are in for 

How to approach divorce so you get from where you are to where you want to be

#3 Know how to tell your kids about getting divorced

Your kids will get over the fact you are getting divorced if you let them

Approaching your divorce includes telling your kids about getting divorced. Parents often have a lot of guilt around divorcing. They wonder about the effect the difference will have on their kids. 

Here is the short answer: Your kids will get over the fact you are getting divorced if you let them. The effects of divorce on your children depend on you and the other parent.

Consider this: how peacefully do you expect to co-parent? 

#4 Empower yourself and discover what processes are available for you to resolve your matter

Approaching your divorce will go a long way towards bringing you a final sense of joy if the legal process does not break you or the bank.

Find ways to settle your matter with a legally binding final separation agreement without ending up in court. You will want to learn about various dispute resolution areas such as:

  • Negotiating directly with your spouse
  • Four-way meetings
  • Mediation
  • Mediation / Arbitration
  • Collaborative family law
  • A settlement conference with a judge.

#5 Empower yourself by focusing on your health and healing

A major step to approaching your divorce and bringing you closer to joy is all about you.

That's right. This is about your health, your healing, and creating the future life you deserve. There are so many ways to grow and find joy. Everyone is different. 

 Here are some of what my clients have shared with me as useful for them to heal, grow, and find joy:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Counseling
  • Tapping
  • Coaching
  • Ho’oponopono (forgiveness practice)
  • MDMA and psychedelics 
  • Faith (what resonates for you)
  • The Breath and Wonder Method 
  • Studying A Course in Miracles 

What will you do to help create the life you want?

The great news is that you don't have to wait to start growing, learning, and creating your new life. 

#6 Prepare for your legal framework and getting an agreement

Approach your divorce after you have learned the different processes available and decide (hopefully with the help of your spouse) which dispute resolution process to use. You will want to use the dispute resolution process best suited to your unique circumstances. 

Then, you will prepare for your process, attend your process, and (hopefully, and yes, it happens almost always) get your final agreement.

Whether you are well on your way to getting divorced or just thinking about it, the path will be clear to you. 

Where you are in your journey, your goal is to have a clear and legally binding final separation agreement.

Explore this site in much more detail to get answers to your questions such as:

  • What your to-do list for your divorce contains.
  • How to divorce a narcissist.
  • How legal separation works.
  • What divorce arbitration is and how it works.
  • What children's rights are (or should be) after divorce.
  • The difference between legal separation v. divorce.
  • Whether people are happier after divorce.
  • What conscious uncoupling is all about.
  • What rights a father has during divorce.
  • How to choose the right family divorce lawyer.
  • How to find the best information about child custody.
  • How to go about dividing your property into divorce.
  • What mediation resolves for you, if you are getting divorced.

And much more.

Utilizing The BETTER Divorce Project allows you to keep more of your hard-earned financial and emotional resources for you and your family, rather than lining the pockets of your divorce lawyer.

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