Are you contemplating or fairly confident that you might be getting divorced? Here are our top ten tips on what to do if you think you’re going to get divorced.
I’ve said it before & will say it again, divorce may be the largest financial transaction of your life – you can’t afford to get it wrong. Before you start calling attorneys & changing bank accounts, there are some things you should know about divorce…
1. Think About It…Do You Really Want To Get Divorced?
We know that there are cases where divorce is absolutely necessary.
However, if you and your spouse are amicable and think you can work things out – have you complete exhausted that path? Is there anything else you can do?
Have you considered a time-out or a temporary split? Are you in couples counseling? We feel strongly that if the marriage can be saved & the family remains intact, that you should do everything you can to make that happen.
However, if you have done everything you possibly can and/or your spouse is no longer willing to work with you, we understand that divorce may be the best path.
2. Therapy Isn’t For The Weak
A good counselor can make you stronger. They can help you identify your strengths & weaknesses. They can help you work through your personal concerns and be a healthy outlet for your frustrations. You can become a better person in every sense of the word. If you think a divorce is coming & you haven’t reached out to a therapist…you should start today.
3. Seek Out GREAT Divorce Education
There are generally three distinct parts to every divorce:
- Child custody & support
- Alimony or spousal support
- Property Division
Remember how I said that divorce may be the single largest transaction of your life? You are quite literally going to divide everything that you have with an individual who will no longer be part of your future. A good financial & legal education will help you avoid making terrible mistakes.
4. Know Your Legal Rights – Working With Or Without An Attorney
Working pro se, or without an attorney, can be easier, cheaper & faster in some cases. However, you don’t know what you don’t know. How do you know your legal rights are being protected?
Your attorney will be there to help you protect your legal rights & ensure you don’t make any significant mistakes. You must learn to trust them. Finding a GREAT family law attorney can be challenging. We created a whole video series just for this topic in our Divorce Essentials Course. You can check it out here.
5. Your Children Are More Important Than Your Grief
You know that placing your children between you and your spouse is a bad idea. No matter how much you might hate your ex, in most cases, your children still love that person & will have an active role in their life. We understand that there are extreme cases of alienation & abuse where a parental relationship and/or rights should be terminated.
However, Divorce is hard enough on children without spouses trying to “win” their children to their side. Vent to your therapist, not your children. Think about how the divorce will affect your children and their relationships with your spouse and their family. Are you ready to create a parenting plan and either pay or ask for child support? There are a lot of questions to ask when it comes to your children.
6. Money & Emotions Do Not Mix…EVER
When mixed with money, fear & greed makes for bad bed-fellows. Hiring professionals such as a CDFA® can help you avoid making significant financial mistakes. A CDFA® will have the financial background to make sure that your settlement agreement works for you in both the short & long-term perspective.
7. Be Careful In Whom You Confide
When it comes to friends & family, they will support you. However, most of the time they may only support you so far. Additionally, negative comments about your soon to be ex will more than likely work their way back around. It’s true that many people lose relationships through a divorce. Carefully watch your words & with whom you discuss your concerns.
8. Social Media Can Come Back And Bite You…Hard
I think we have all seen it. Someone posts an extremely hateful rant about their ex-spouse on Facebook or Instagram. What’s hard to contemplate is that whether or not the allegations are true, your online statements could come back to haunt you.
What most people don’t realize is that these comments could create significant legal issues. You better believe me when I tell you that people have been sued & comments on the internet have been used as evidence.
9. Become Intimately Familiar With Your Finances
Most people think finances, budgeting, taxation & investments to be either too boring, complex or irrelevant to their situation. The truth of the matter is that your divorce will force you to become very familiar with every aspect of your financial life. I’ve said it before & I’ve said it again, divorce may be the single largest financial transaction of your life…why risk it?
10. Start Thinking About Your Post-Divorce Life
You probably already know several people who have had great success after divorce. They are happy, healthy & financially secure. They have great relationships with their children & possibly even with their ex-spouse.
Life is too short to dwell in sadness, anger, regret, depression & anxiety. These are all healthy human emotions. It’s normal to feel everything that you are feeling right now. The trick is to not let those feelings define who you are.
Your divorce does not have to define you as a “failure.” Your divorce may be the best thing that ever happened to you. You may find out who you truly are & find your true calling in your life.
Sometimes, going through hard things can make us better people. I know from experience that it is possible for you. Stay positive, trust your attorney, CDFA®, therapist & friends.
You got this.