When considering divorce or separation, the first thing to do is to prepare for financial, family and emotional challenges.
Financially, life will change. Except for the extremely wealthy, it is virtually impossible to sustain two equal households similar to the marital household. Someone (or both of you) will have to move from the family residence. Typically, this is achieved by selling the family residence and splitting any proceeds or one party buys out the other party’s interest. Additionally, accounts and property acquired during marriage must be properly divided. Obtaining statements or other relevant documentation before or early in the process can save time, money and frustration.
The changing family dynamic is perhaps the hardest to appropriately anticipate. If children are involved, whether young or “of age”, the decision to divorce or separate can have varied effects. Usually, younger children don’t understand why or what it means. Some children regress in some areas (bedwetting, etc.) and some do poorly in school immediately following the announcement. Children require constant reassurance that both parents love them, but their parents can no longer live together. It is usually a good idea to get on the same page with the other parent and find a good therapist or counselor for children going through this major life change. Being aligned with the other parent in these matters will do much more to keep the children as centered and balanced as possible.
Emotionally, you will likely go through extreme highs and lows. You will probably question whether this is right for you and your family and, although well-intentioned, unsolicited advice from friends and family on issues such as legal representation, financial preparation and even what support and custody orders you should try to achieve, can make a stressful process infinitely more confusing. The best course of action is to surround yourself with trusted friends and family for emotional support and professionals such as attorneys or therapists/counselors to help guide you through the road ahead.