Even if you have decided to end your marriage, you may be unsure what your life will look like after divorce. Preparing yourself for this major change can help clarify your path and ease some of the stress you may be feeling. 

Take these steps to get ready for the divorce process in Colorado before you file paperwork. 

Consider the right type of divorce for you 

You do not necessarily have to go to court in Colorado to finalize your divorce. Some couples come to an agreement through a form of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation. Others may prefer litigation because of complicated custody concerns. 

Review your finances 

If your spouse handles the bills, ask for an explanation of the household budget and expenses. You should also be aware of savings accounts, investments, life insurance policies and retirement accounts. Create a realistic budget that reflects your projected monthly income and expenses as a single-person household. In Colorado, a spouse who is unable to financially support a separate household can ask for alimony from the higher-earning spouse. 

Build a support system 

You will need friends and family members to provide emotional guidance and sustenance during this difficult time. In addition, you may want to work with a professional therapist or join a peer support group. If you are not sure about whether you want to end your marriage, you and your spouse can consider family counseling. 

Discuss custody goals 

If you and your spouse have children together and have started the divorce conversation, try to have a calm, honest discussion about each of your goals when it comes to custody. Colorado, like most states, defaults to shared physical and legal custody unless one parent has a history of neglect or abuse. Review your work schedules and your child’s school and activity schedule to come up with a reasonable, fair parenting plan. Otherwise, the court will make a decision about parenting time that will be legally binding and based on the child’s most favorable interests.