PROCESS: Part 2 (3min)
What do I do first?
Answer: Get your financial information in order – and begin to create some level of financial separation. In the UK, you will need to fill in Form E – providing full disclosure of your financial situation which is a legal obligation (to be financially transparent – not to fill in your Form E).
In California there are several forms for full financial disclosure – but before you begin the admin process of form filling for whatever jurisdiction you are conducting your divorce, spend some time getting the information together.
Don’t panic – some financial advisers offer free checklists and information on what you need to do immediately to protect your financial future and also reduce the risk of fuelling an acrimonious divorce.
How do I tell the kids?
Answer: Don’t keep it a secret – once you absolutely know that the relationship is over and divorce or separation is the next stage, you need to tell the kids – but the way you do it must be age-appropriate.
Preferably tell them together – but not before thinking carefully how to avoid the children assuming that your breakup is in some way their fault. They tend to think like that no matter what you say, so this is something that will need to be re-enforced on an ongoing basis.
Have a conversation with a parenting expert – introductions to cost-free no-obligation conversations with parenting experts are available via a Divorce Strategy Session.
What if my Ex and I are not communicating or are very angry with each other?
It’s OK. You don’t have to be friends to have a sensible divorce and stay out of court. But you will need to communicate, and that can be through mediators, through online shared diaries, through grandparents… You’ll find a way. Though it will be a lot easier if you make use of co-parenting diaries and co-parenting plans.
How do I start the legal process?
You will need to agree on a financial settlement and how you are planning to co-parent. The petitioning process can become overblown in the minds of divorcing couples – particularly in countries/states that insist on ‘blame’ – when really the couple should be focusing on what they will need to agree on, rather whether ‘unreasonable behaviour’ or ‘adultery’ should be on the divorce petition.
Contact your local family court if you are doing it yourself – or use an online divorce provider who can send you the forms direct, or access them online. Be aware that legal aid is still available for divorce mediation in the UK so this is a good option if you need help with agreeing on how you will co-parent, or how to divide the finances. Other countries/states may have subsidised mediation on offer. Do make sure you shop around – like anything else, poor quality can cost you more in the long run.
Collaborative law (where you don’t go to court) is also a good option if you want to have a lawyer by your side during any negotiations. You could use mediation/collaborative law for one aspect of the process, and then still use an online divorce provider if you need to keep your costs down, or DIY.
Check out the options yourself before instructing a solicitor – as you may need them for less work than you might realise – so less cost to you.
For a UK divorce or civil partnership dissolution, you will have to fill in Form E – and that may require financial information, valuations – and some admin support.
In California, there are many forms to fill in as there may well be for other States in the US, Australia etc. But the key thing is to gather the financial info first and don’t rush it.
Full financial disclosure is not just a moral but also a legal requirement.
In California there are several forms to fill in – you will find the information you need in the free resource in the Resource Hub under Divorce Admin, along with information about UK divorce and international divorce.
SuzyMillerCreator of Best Way To Divorce. International Divorce Divorce Strategist and TEDx Speaker.
6th March 2022
4th June 2023