Divorce is a big life step. The process can be time consuming, and financially and emotionally draining, but you can prepare yourself for it.

The first step once you see with certainty marriage is irretrievably broken, is to make a plan for after you are divorced. You want to move forward with your end-goal in mind: where will you live? Where will your kids live and how much time will they spend with each parent? How will you support yourself once you are single? If you will need a job change in order to support yourself and your kids, perhaps go ahead and make that job change. If you don’t have kids, then planning will be simpler.

For some couples, it’s a good idea to “try it apart” before you file divorce paperwork. It’ll give you a chance to see what single-life will be like before getting the court involved. It’s perfectly valid for a married couple to write up and sign a temporary separation agreement that explains parenting time and short-term alimony or child support. Living apart also gives you a good perspective in your divorce because your focus will be on making your new life great, rather than on your soon-to-be-ex’s shortcomings.

You should reconnect with friends and family members who will support you emotionally through the process.

You will want to open your own separate bank account, have cash at hand, and perhaps a credit card so that you have your own money as you start the next chapter of your life. You will absolutely be required to disclose any accounts or cash at hand during your divorce, so it’s a good idea to make sure that money you are setting aside is reasonable given your living expenses. It may be a good idea to saving money as soon as you think divorce may be a possibility. An average divorce in Colorado costs around $8,000 per person in legal fees.

At the end of a divorce all marital property will be divided equitably and an injunction will be put in place that requires the parties to continue paying insurance and some basic bills at the status quo as the divorce goes on. For most people, the most change happens while they are in the midst of the divorce, before the judge has made a final ruling on who will get what assets. Child support and alimony can also be awarded during the divorce and at the end, but if the other party doesn’t agree, you will likely face a delay in actually getting before a judge to get your money.