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A few simple tips can make it easier to survive a divorce

Marital separations and dissolutions are among the most difficult chapters in life for any American, Michigan residents included. Like many difficult challenges, though, these dark chapters can be survived. Once divorce papers are served, many people experience a wide variety of feelings, including anger, depression and sadness. None of those, however, should keep anyone from learning to deal with and surviving divorce.

The first step in dealing with divorce is to become educated about the process. Without a legal background, the process may seem more complex and mysterious than it really is. Consulting an experienced divorce attorney up front can save time, money and additional emotional turmoil.

Get organized. Finances cause some of the worst conflicts in divorces, and divorcing spouses who want to avoid that must learn more about the family's finances - its debts, assets, income and expenses. Gathering financial information makes it easier to understand the issues involved. If divorcing spouses still live together in the marital home, it is best to collect and share all available financial information before they separate.

Protect your assets. Marital property and assets are almost always divided in divorce. Any property owned before the marriage as well as inheritances are not subject to division. Prenuptial agreements, especially those with instructions on how to deal with property and assets in the event of divorce, can also play an important role. These agreements are enforceable if they were drafted according to state laws.

Establish your own financial accounts. During divorce, spouses often face financial challenges, so saving money and having separate bank accounts makes it easier to support themselves and their children.

Because issues such as child-custody arrangements often blow up into full-scale conflict after a divorce is final, working hard with a spouse to nail these down early can make for less trouble later.

Source: Huffington Post, "What do marathons and divorce have in common?," Diane L. Danois, Nov. 3, 2014

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