These 2 words coming out of your spouse’s mouth have the power to shatter your life: “Let’s Divorce.

It is the instant the fairytale ends and reality kicks in, leaving you and your unfulfilled plans and dreams oceans apart. Maybe you feel empty, deceived, and heartbroken. Words may never be able to describe what you felt upon hearing those words.

The biggest mistake you can make in this situation is not researching the divorce process properly. There are many nuances. You have to know your rights, know the required paperwork, how to handle child custody, how to deal with the financial side, etc… It can certainly be overwhelming!

This is the reason the Complete Guide to Divorce was written. Here are some quick tips on getting through this time in your life:

1. Distance Your Emotions

It may sound impossible because your emotions are possibly a train wreck and you might be confused. Try to think rationally for the sake of you, or your kids if you have any. Listen to your lawyer, they will give you proper advice on how to act and handle the divorce process.

2. Watch Your Assets

The reality is that you need to be prepared for the person you’re divorcing to try and go after everything you own. Make sure to consult with your lawyer, and be sure you won’t be confronting any surprises. During such an emotional time, it might be easy to be blindsided by something you’ve overlooked. Make sure everything is accounted for.

3. Pay Your Court Fees

Sometimes with the hassle and stress, you might forget to pay your court-ordered attorney fees, and that can become a major headache that you don’t need right now. The judge can even decide to sentence you to jail if you don’t pay them on time.

4. Gather the Evidence

For the upcoming months of filing for divorce, you might want to start collecting evidence for your case. These could be photographs, phone numbers, financial statements, etc… Make sure to gather anything you think may help your case.

5. Gather Property Information

If you don’t know how much your property is worth, it’s time to start investigating. Knowing how much your properties cost, and having the right paperwork may help you in the divorce.

6. Alimony

If you are the one paying for alimony, you can write it off as tax-deduction. If you are the one receiving alimony, you should report it on your taxes. Child support is an exception as it’s not taxable.

7. Know Your Bills

It can be very common for only one member of the household to know the details of household bills. If you have no idea how the finances of your household work, you might be at the disadvantage. The last thing you want is to look incompetent in front of a judge. Start investigating your expenses immediately.

8. For Stay At Home Spouses

If you are not working and getting a divorce, start looking for job opportunities immediately. You might even consider learning a new skill or trade. If you are not disabled and have school-aged kids, you are expected to start working to provide your children a quality life. A new resume or a certificate of completion of some courses could help you in your cause.

9. Private Investigators

If your spouse has been cheating on you or has deceived you in some other way, you might want to hire an investigator to collect evidence of your spouse’s unacceptable behavior. This will be a powerful tool if your spouse decides to apply for child custody rights. And if you are not granted the custody rights as the father of your child, you should seek help from a visitation and paternity lawyer.

Divorce is never easy but it can be a valuable lesson. Don’t dwell on who was wrong and where it all went wrong but rather analyze how did you end up married with your ex, make the appropriate conclusions so the next time you will make a better choice. Cherish the good memories you had before your divorce, close that page of your life and start a new one form afresh.