If you’ve been contemplating divorce, it is essential to understand your state’s legal requirements and be informed about the entire process. This blog post will provide comprehensive guidance on navigating the entire divorce process so you have an idea about what to do first when you’re thinking about divorce.

We’ll start with how to gain clarity and educate yourself on your state’s specific divorce laws. Next, we’ll explore financial preparation, addressing abuse within the relationship, and the importance of avoiding venting on social media.

We’ll cover discernment counseling for couples who are unsure whether they want to proceed with a divorce or work on their marriage and we’ll introduce you to the types of professionals that might be able to help you think through this process.

Finally, we’ll delve into making the decision to stay or go and how best to conduct yourself during divorce proceedings while adopting a flexible approach toward negotiation. Considering these steps when you’re thinking about a divorce can help ease stressors associated with such an emotionally challenging life event.

Gaining Clarity and Educating Yourself

Understand what your rights are in order to make an informed decision from a healthy mindset, avoiding adversarial attitudes or blame-gaming.

Assessing the State of Your Marriage

To begin with, take some time to reflect on the current state of your marriage. Are there ongoing issues that you feel cannot be resolved? Have you tried seeking professional help such as marriage counseling? It is important to have a clear understanding of why you’re contemplating divorce before moving forward.

Researching Divorce Laws in Your State

It is essential to be aware of the particular rules that apply in your state, such as how assets will be divided, alimony awarded and child custody arrangements. This includes understanding how assets will be divided, whether alimony will be awarded, and how child custody arrangements may be determined.

  • Action Step: Visit websites like org, and the American Bar Association (ABA) provide comprehensive information on family law issues tailored specifically for women seeking legal guidance.
  • Action Step: Reach out to local non-profit organizations that offer free consultations regarding family law matters; they can provide valuable insights into navigating this complex process.
  • Action Step: Attend workshops or seminars focused on understanding the intricacies of divorces – many community centers host these events periodically.

In addition to learning about legal aspects related to the divorce process, consider seeking advice from others who have gone through it. Support groups can provide valuable insights and help you better understand what to expect as you make decisions.

Contemplating divorce can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Seeking the guidance of a divorce coach, couples counseling, and divorce lawyer can help you make decisions that are right for you. Keep in mind that divorce doesn’t have to be a contested divorce; an amicable divorce or divorce mediation can be a viable option for some couples.

“Gain clarity and educate yourself before making any decisions about divorce. Assess your marriage, research state laws, seek advice from others who have gone through it #divorcepreparation #familylawfirm”

The Divorce Process

Once you have decided to move forward with a divorce, it’s important to understand the entire divorce process. Seek advice from a divorce lawyer or legal professional to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. A separation agreement can be a useful tool to help you and your spouse make decisions about spousal support, child custody, child support, and the marital home.

  • Action Step: Seek legal advice from a divorce lawyer or legal professional to help you understand the divorce process and make informed decisions.
  • Action Step: Consider working with a divorce coach or counselor to help you manage the emotional aspects of the divorce process.

Remember, divorce is a difficult decision, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. With the right mindset and support, you can make the best decisions for your future and move forward with confidence.

Getting ready financially and having access to funds is an essential part of the divorce process, so make sure you have enough money for your needs. Moving on, addressing abuse within the relationship should be considered if there are any signs of potential harm or danger.

“Thinking about divorce? Take charge by gaining clarity, educating yourself on laws, and seeking legal advice to make informed decisions for your future. #divorce #familylaw”

Addressing Abuse within the Relationship

If abuse is present within your relationship, it’s crucial to take action immediately. Not only does this impact you, but it can also have long-lasting effects on any children involved. It’s essential to consider how ongoing conflict between spouses affects children both now and in the long term.

Recognizing Signs of Abuse

Abuse can manifest in various forms such as physical, emotional, or financial control. Some common signs include:

  • Frequent insults or put-downs
  • Controlling behavior over finances or personal decisions
  • Threats of violence or actual acts of aggression
  • A pattern of jealousy and possessiveness

If you notice these red flags in your marriage, seek help from a professional counselor who specializes in domestic violence situations. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE (7233)) offers confidential support and resources for those experiencing abuse.

Seeking Professional Help for Abusive Situations

In cases where there is a risk to your safety or that of your children, don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement authorities for immediate assistance. For additional support, reach out to local shelters and organizations offering services specifically designed for those experiencing domestic violence.

Consult with a legal specialist in family law to aid you in navigating the intricacies of leaving an abusive relationship when thinking about divorce. They will be able to guide you through necessary legal steps while ensuring protection measures are put into place during this difficult time.

Note: If you’re concerned about maintaining privacy online while seeking information related to escaping an abusive relationship, be sure to clear your browser history or use a safe computer. The National Network to End Domestic Violence offers a helpful Technology Safety Toolkit for additional guidance.

Recognizing the signs of abuse in a relationship and taking proactive measures to seek help are key components for ensuring safety. Taking steps to avoid venting on social media can also be beneficial, as it allows you to build strong support networks offline.

Take action immediately if abuse is present in your relationship. Recognize the signs, seek professional help and consult with an experienced family law attorney. #domesticviolenceawareness #divorceadvice

Avoid Venting on Social Media

When contemplating divorce, it’s crucial to exercise caution when sharing personal information online. Although social media platforms may seem like a convenient outlet for venting your frustrations and seeking support, oversharing can have unintended consequences during the divorce process.

The dangers of sharing personal information online

Posting about your marital issues or negative feelings towards your spouse on social media can be used against you in court proceedings. For example, if you publicly accuse your partner of infidelity or abuse without substantial evidence, this could potentially harm your credibility and affect the outcome of custody battles or property division negotiations. Additionally, emotionally charged posts may escalate tensions between both parties and hinder amicable resolutions. source

Building a strong support network offline

  • Talk to friends and family: Reach out to trusted individuals who understand what you’re going through and can provide emotional support as well as practical advice.
  • Join local support groups: Look for community-based organizations that offer resources such as counseling services or workshops specifically designed for people facing separation or divorce. (DivorceCare)
  • Contact professional therapists: If marital therapy hasn’t worked for you, consider engaging with individual counselors who specialize in helping clients navigate relationship challenges during times of transition. Psychology Today Directory

Rather than relying on social media to express yourself during difficult times, it’s important to be aware of the potential consequences and prioritize building a strong offline support system as well as seeking professional help when needed. Instead, focus on building a robust offline support network and seeking professional guidance when necessary.

Venting on digital platforms can be a precarious move, as it may lead to the revelation of confidential data that could put one in jeopardy. However, discernment counseling for couples is an effective way to help improve communication in marriage and understand its potential benefits.

“Protect your divorce case by avoiding social media venting. Build a strong offline support network and seek professional guidance instead. #divorcelaw #supportnetwork”

Discernment Counseling for Couples

Before making a final decision, couples should consider all options, including Discernment Counseling to help them determine whether their problems are solvable and if they should continue with the marriage or pursue divorce. One option worth considering is Discernment Counseling, which can help couples determine if their problems are solvable and whether they should proceed with a divorce or work on improving their marriage.

Understanding Discernment Counseling Benefits

Unlike traditional marital therapy that focuses on resolving conflicts, Discernment Counseling aims to provide clarity and confidence in deciding the future of your relationship. This short-term counseling process (usually 1-5 sessions) involves individual and joint meetings with both partners. The counselor helps each partner understand their contributions to the marital issues while exploring possible paths forward: staying together as-is, separating/divorcing, or engaging in intensive couple’s therapy.

Strategies for Improving Communication in Marriage

  • Active Listening: Practice active listening by giving your full attention when your spouse speaks, reflecting back what you heard without judgment or advice.
  • I-statements: Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements when expressing feelings or concerns; this reduces blame and defensiveness.
  • Avoid Assumptions: Ask questions rather than assuming you know how your partner feels about an issue.
  • Show Empathy: Validate each other’s emotions even if you don’t agree with them – understanding doesn’t mean agreement but demonstrates respect for one another’s perspective.

In some cases, improved communication may lead to reconciliation and renewed commitment within the marriage. However, if both partners agree that divorce is the best option, Discernment Counseling can provide a foundation for an amicable separation process. Through Discernment Counseling, you and your partner can acquire the aptitude to take decisions about what lies ahead for your relationship.

Discernment counseling can be a beneficial tool for couples considering divorce to help them understand their options and make the best decisions for themselves. Obtaining advice from qualified experts, like lawyers, mediators, and divorce mentors can be a significant step in getting ready for the dissolution of your union.

“Before filing for divorce, consider Discernment Counseling to explore all options. Improve communication and gain clarity with your partner’s help.” #divorce #counseling

Consulting with Attorneys, Mediators, and Divorce Coaches

When contemplating divorce, it is crucial to consult with various professionals who can provide guidance throughout the entire divorce process. This may include attorneys, mediators, and divorce coaches. Each professional plays a unique role in helping you navigate the complexities of ending your marriage.

Choosing the Right Attorney for Your Situation

For optimal legal protection during the divorce process, seek out an attorney who specializes in family law. It is important to research potential attorneys thoroughly by checking their credentials, reading reviews from previous clients, and scheduling consultations to determine if they are a good fit for your needs. You can also seek recommendations from friends or family members who have gone through similar situations.

The Role of Divorce Coaches in Navigating Emotional Challenges

A divorce coach is a certified practitioner trained to help individuals manage emotional challenges associated with ending their marriage. They offer support by teaching better communication skills between partners which could lead toward reconciliation instead of separation. A coach can also assist you in setting realistic expectations about what life will look like post-divorce and help you develop strategies for coping with change.

  • Attorneys: Provide legal advice on matters such as property division, child custody arrangements, alimony payments, etc., while representing your best interests during negotiations or court proceedings.
  • Mediators: Act as neutral third parties facilitating discussions between spouses aiming at reaching mutually agreeable solutions without resorting to litigation.
  • Divorce Coaches: Offer emotional support and guidance throughout the divorce process, helping clients develop effective coping strategies for life after marriage.

Involving these professionals in your decision-making process can provide valuable insights into the potential outcomes of a divorce. This knowledge empowers you to make well-informed decisions based on ample research rather than impulse alone. Seeking legal advice on matters such as spousal support, child custody, child support, and the marital home can help you make decisions that are in your best interest. Additionally, couples counseling and an amicable divorce or separation agreement can help make the divorce process less contentious and more manageable.

When considering a divorce, consulting with attorneys, mediators and coaches is essential in order to make the best decisions for your individual situation. Strategizing financial planning during potential divorces can be an overwhelming process; however, understanding retainer fees and seeking professional advice are key components of making sound decisions.

Key Takeaway:

When considering a divorce, it is important to seek guidance from professionals such as attorneys, mediators, and divorce coaches. Choosing the right attorney who specializes in family law can ensure that your interests are protected during the process. A divorce coach can provide emotional support and help develop coping strategies for life after marriage.

Strategizing Financial Planning during Potential Divorces

It’s important to strategize financial planning during potential divorces by consulting attorneys regarding retainer fees, speaking with professionals who can answer related queries, and reaching out for advice from those experienced in similar situations themselves. All these steps contribute toward making well-informed decisions based upon ample research rather than impulse alone.

Understanding Retainer Fees and Legal Costs

In order to effectively plan your finances, it is crucial to understand the retainer fees and legal costs associated with divorce. This includes attorney fees, court filing fees, mediation expenses, and other miscellaneous charges that may arise throughout the process. Discussing these costs upfront with your attorney will help you set realistic expectations about what you need to budget for in terms of professional services.

Seeking Professional Financial Advice

Beyond understanding legal costs, seeking professional financial advice is essential when navigating a divorce. A certified financial planner or accountant can provide valuable insights into how best to manage assets like retirement accounts, real estate properties, investments, or even debt distribution between spouses. Additionally, financial advisors familiar with divorce cases can help identify potential tax implications and suggest strategies on how to minimize them while maximizing your overall financial stability post-divorce.

  • Action Step: Consult an attorney about expected retainer fees and legal costs involved in your specific case.
  • Action Step: Reach out to a certified financial planner or accountant for guidance on managing your assets and understanding potential tax implications during the divorce process.

Taking the right steps can help you make sound financial choices throughout your divorce, reducing stress and paving the way to an equitable settlement. This will ultimately help minimize stress and provide a clearer path toward achieving an equitable resolution in your case.

Comprehending the fiscal effects of a possible divorce before committing to any action is indispensable. Consequently, it is essential to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of remaining wed or dissolving the marriage in order to move ahead with assurance.

Key Takeaway:

When considering a divorce, it’s important to strategize financial planning by understanding retainer fees and legal costs associated with the process. Seeking professional advice from certified financial planners or accountants can help manage assets and minimize potential tax implications during the divorce process. Consulting attorneys for guidance on expected fees is also crucial in making well-informed decisions about finances throughout the process.

Making the Decision to Stay or Go

After gathering sufficient information and weighing your options, you will eventually reach a point where you must decide whether to stay in your marriage or pursue a divorce. This critical decision requires careful consideration of various factors that could significantly impact your life.

Evaluating Pros and Cons of Staying Married vs. Getting Divorced

To make an informed choice, create a list outlining the pros and cons of staying married versus getting divorced. Consider aspects such as emotional well-being, financial stability, lifestyle changes, parenting responsibilities, and potential effects on extended family members. Weighing up the pros and cons of staying married or getting divorced can offer an understanding of which decision is best for your individual circumstances.

Accepting Change as Part of Moving Forward

Deciding to divorce requires you to be prepared for considerable changes in various aspects of your life. You may need to adjust financially by restructuring budgets, altering living arrangements, redefining friendship groups, or adapting family traditions during holidays. Embracing these changes with resilience can help ease the transition process while fostering personal growth.

In contrast, if reconciliation seems like a more viable option after evaluating all available information about divorce laws in your state and considering professional guidance from attorneys or mediators – be prepared to work diligently toward improving communication within your marriage and addressing any underlying issues contributing towards marital discord.

Considering all the potential benefits and drawbacks thoroughly before making a decision to stay or go is essential for achieving your desired outcome. By conducting yourself during divorce proceedings in an open and honest manner, you will have taken another step toward reaching your desired outcome.

“Take charge of your life and make an informed decision when considering divorce. Evaluate pros & cons, accept change, or work towards reconciliation with professional guidance.” #DivorceDecision #FamilyLawFirm

Conducting Yourself During Divorce Proceedings

If you’re contemplating divorce, it’s essential to set your intention and determine how to conduct yourself throughout this difficult passage. Being prepared to disclose financial information early on in the process and maintaining open communication channels with legal representatives as well as support networks such as friends and family members can make a significant difference.

Disclosing Financial Information Transparently

Transparency is crucial when disclosing financial information during a divorce. It is essential to have openness when it comes to money matters during a divorce in order for both parties to feel secure and receive equitable treatment with respect to asset division. Gather all important documents, like bank statements, tax forms, investment portfolios and property deeds prior to meeting with a lawyer or mediator for the best outcome. Providing accurate records will help expedite the process while minimizing potential disputes over assets. Forbes provides an insightful checklist for what not to do during a divorce, including hiding assets or underreporting income.

Maintaining Healthy Communication Habits

Healthy communication habits play a vital role in navigating through the emotional challenges of the divorce process. This includes being respectful towards your spouse even if emotions run high, avoiding aggressive language or actions that could escalate conflicts, listening actively without interrupting, expressing feelings assertively rather than aggressively, and seeking clarification if needed instead of making assumptions about intentions. Psychology Today offers valuable advice on managing emotions during different stages of divorce.

Additionally, keeping your attorney and support network informed about any changes or concerns can help you better navigate the entire divorce process. Remember that seeking guidance from professionals such as divorce coaches can also be beneficial in managing emotional challenges during this time.

Whether you’re considering an amicable divorce or a contested divorce, seeking legal advice early on can help you make decisions that are in your best interest. Issues such as spousal support, child custody, child support, and the marital home can be complex, and having a divorce lawyer on your side can help you understand your options and protect your rights. Divorce mediation is another option that can help couples work through issues in a more collaborative and less adversarial manner.

Ultimately, the first step in the divorce process is seeking advice and understanding your options. With the right support and resources, you can make informed decisions and move forward with confidence.

It is important to remain respectful and open-minded throughout the divorce proceedings, as this will help ensure a smoother process. It is imperative to recognize your entitlements and strive for agreement instead of contention while partaking in discussions.

Prepare for a divorce by being transparent about finances, maintaining healthy communication habits, seeking legal advice early on and understanding your options. #divorcepreparation #familylawfirm

Why Divorce Is Like A Business Transaction?

Many of the most important concepts of negotiation are contained in the seminal publication Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury.

A good agreement is one that is wise and efficient, and improves the parties’ relationship. That’s right! Negotiating a divorce does not need to be a lose-lose deal. It should be win-win!

In Getting to Yes, the authors outline four principles for effective negotiation and describe three common obstacles. At The Law Office Of Robert B. Buchanan, we employ these techniques on a daily basis.

Principle #1: Separating People and Issues. This is the most difficult part of the divorce negotiation process. People become emotionally connected to each issue, naturally. As such, they will take responses to proposals as personal attacks. By separating the people from the issues, the parties are able to address the issues without damaging their relationships.

Principle #2: Focus on Interests. By focusing on interests rather than positions there is a much better chance at arriving at a win-win solution. Per the authors, “Your position is something you have decided upon. Your interests are what caused you to so decide.” Often times, when interests uncovered and articulated, the parties realize that their views are more aligned than previously thought.

Principle #3: Generate Options. In order to come up with the best solution, the parties must be open to generating options. This is creative process that requires the parties to let go of premature decisions, and to be open to creative alternatives. As the authors state, parties can often find compatible solutions “[looking] for items that are of low cost to you and high benefit to them, and vice versa.”

Principle #4: Insist That The Agreement Be Based on Objective Criteria. Interests are sometimes opposed. If you allow these differences to fuel an emotional, subjective reaction, relationships will be destroyed. Instead, the parties should decide on objective criteria to resolve the differences. This is easy in the legal context, as the law provides objective precedent applicable to each unique situation.

Adopting a Flexible Approach Toward Negotiation

In order to avoid court battles during divorces, which can often exacerbate emotional distress, it is essential to adopt a flexible approach toward negotiation. This means being willing to compromise on tough issues rather than becoming stubborn or vindictive, which could lead to litigation instead of resolution.

The Importance of Compromise in Divorce Negotiations

Compromise plays a crucial role in the success of any divorce negotiation. By finding common ground and working together with your spouse, you can reach agreements that are fair and beneficial for both parties. By striving to come to an agreement, both parties can save time and money while avoiding costly court proceedings.

  • Identify your priorities: Understand what matters most to you in the divorce process and be prepared to make concessions on less important issues.
  • Be open-minded: Listen carefully to your spouse’s concerns and try to understand their perspective before making counteroffers or proposals.
  • Show empathy: Acknowledge the emotions involved in divorce negotiations and demonstrate compassion towards your spouse’s feelings as well as your own.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Adversarial Attitudes

Maintaining an adversarial attitude during divorce proceedings can lead to increased tension, hostility, and ultimately more difficulties in reaching an agreement. To prevent this from happening:

  1. Avoid high-conflict behaviors: Steer clear of actions that may provoke your spouse, such as making unreasonable demands or engaging in personal attacks.
  2. Focus on the end result of a satisfactory resolution and don’t get lost in the details. Attempt to refrain from striving for success in every debate.
  3. Seek professional guidance: Consult with attorneys, mediators, and divorce coaches who can help you navigate the emotional challenges associated with divorce negotiations and maintain a constructive mindset throughout the process.


Key Takeaway:

When considering a divorce, it’s important to adopt a flexible approach towards negotiation and prioritize compromise. Identifying priorities, being open-minded, and showing empathy can help minimize conflict during negotiations. Avoiding adversarial attitudes by avoiding high-conflict behaviors, staying focused on the bigger picture, and seeking professional guidance can also lead to more successful outcomes.

FAQs in Relation to What to Do First When You’re Thinking about a Divorce

What is the first step when thinking about divorce?

The first step when considering divorce is gaining clarity on your situation and educating yourself about the process. Assess the state of your marriage, research divorce laws in your state, and seek professional help if needed. It’s also essential to prepare financially by opening a separate bank account and stashing cash safely.

What should you do if you are thinking about getting a divorce?

If contemplating divorce, it’s crucial to address any abuse within the relationship, avoid venting on social media, and consider discernment counseling for couples. Consult with attorneys, mediators, or divorce coaches as needed while strategizing financial planning during potential divorces. Ultimately, make an informed decision whether to stay or go based on a thorough evaluation of the pros and cons.


Before considering a divorce, it is beneficial to gain an understanding of the available choices and relevant information. Assess the state of your marriage, research divorce laws in your state, and seek professional help for abusive situations. These are all crucial steps that can help you make informed decisions.

Financial preparation is also key. This includes opening a separate bank account and seeking professional financial advice. It’s important to maintain healthy communication habits during divorce proceedings and adopt a flexible approach toward negotiation.

If you’re considering what to do first when you’re thinking about a divorce, contact us at The Law Offices of Robert B. Buchanan today for guidance from a reputable advocate for separation matters who can help guide you through this difficult process with compassion and expertise.