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Divorce is still highly prevalent in American society. In 2014, over 813,000 divorces and annulments took place within the United States. While it was down from the previous year, it is still a sizable number.

Going through a divorce is difficult. Before pulling the trigger and deciding to go through with it, there are a few things spouses contemplating divorce need to do first. 

1. Go through counseling or mediation

Divorce is a messy process that can span years. Both spouses need to be certain this is what they want. Although marriage counseling and mediation are two separate things, they can both help the spouses decide if this is a route they truly want to go down.

2. Make essential sales and purchases

Many times when there is a divorce, a judge will prevent the spouses from selling or acquiring new property. The reason is that the court system may view it as trying to dissolve shared assets. While it is understandable, it can be inconvenient if one spouse was planning on selling a rental property or buying a new car regardless of the marital situation.

3. Figure out who will live where

Chances are high that a divorcing couple will not want to live together. It is important to figure out who will stay in the house and who will go elsewhere during the court proceedings. If one spouse wishes to remain in the house after settling the divorce, then he or she would want to try to remain there.

4. Hire an Attorney

Even if a couple does not have any children and believe this can be an amicable divorce, it is still beneficial to hire a lawyer. An attorney can assist someone in determining how to divide joint bank accounts and looking over any pertinent financial documents. In fact, it can be prudent to interview several attorneys before filing so that the spouse knows where to turn to for assistance.