This is a question I am asked pretty routinely. Many people know their marriage is over, but have no idea how to start on their divorce. What follows is not an exclusive list, but might point you in some right directions. Divorce doesn't have a one-size-fits-all formula, but knowing some starting points for starting might help you reach agreements faster and with a lot less stress. If starting a divorce scares or overwhelms you, consider starting with these ideas.
1. If you are struggling emotionally, seek out a therapist and consider visiting your doctor. A lot of people worry that if they see a therapist it will be used against them somehow. Getting help when you are struggling is not any different than getting a cast for a broken arm. It will help you get better. Self-care is important!
2. Check your credit report. You can do this online for free at places like CreditKarma and NerdWallet.
3. Consider opening your own separate bank account and have your paycheck put in there.
4. Make a list of your main assets, like your bank accounts, cars, house, retirements and things like that.
5. Make a list of your debts, like credit cards, loans, hospital bills, student loans.
6. If you can rationally discuss the equitable division with your soon-to-be-ex, start on that. You might discuss what is going to be done with the house and if you are going to each divide your retirements. You may decide to each take your own debt or some other solution.
7. If you have children, you need to take the Parenting Communication Course offered by Children First. You can call them at 618-235-6192 or you can take it online. Your soon-to-be-ex will also take it.
8. Start talking about how you will each have time with your child or children, how you will celebrate holidays in the future and the like.
9. Determine how you are both going to tell your children. If you need ideas, take a look at my post from January 11, 2022.
10. If you can work through these issues and reach resolutions, I would be able to help you. Reach out to my office so we can schedule a time to talk on the phone and I can discuss the prices with you.
If you and your soon-to-be-ex cannot work through these issues, then I would not be the right lawyer to help. You will need an attorney who will help you get your case before the Court so that the Judge can decide the issues you cannot agree on. If you decide you would rather keep a better control of the outcome of your case, I would love to see if I can help. Call me, contact me through my website or chat with LawCat