The decision has been made, your emotions are running wild, you can’t think straight. How will this affect my children? How will I pay the bills? Where will I live? What do I do next?
Most people assume they’ll need a lawyer. They also imagine their divorce looking like the ‘War of the Roses’ or what they saw on ‘The Good Wife’. Did you know that over 90% of divorce cases settle out of court? That’s not to say that they don’t have arguments in front of a judge through the process, but at the end of the day, most people would prefer to make their own decisions rather than allow a judge to make it for them.
So how do you go through the divorce process in the least painful way? How do you minimize the emotional toll so you can recover from divorce and rebuild your life? By educating yourself about the options available and finding the right resources you can help ease the stress and reduce the amount of time, money and emotional energy you invest in the process.
Here are 4 areas to focus on:
- Where do you want to be? What’s the dream? What do you want your life to look like when the divorce is over? Set goals for yourself. They can be as simple as ‘get up every morning and go for a walk’ or more involved ‘be financially independent within 1 year’.
- Get organized! The more organized you are, the more in control you will be. Find apps such as Evernote, or Our Family Wizard to help you. Use a calendar and look at it often! You’d be amazed how forgetful even the most disciplined person can become in the face of emotional overwhelm.
- Make a financial plan. Start with simple budgeting. You may need guidance from a professional but collecting all the basic information about your daily spending fixed expenses etc. is extremely important. Not only will it help you stay on top how much your spending, you’ll need it to go forward with your divorce.
- Get clear and trust yourself. It’s much easier to let others make decisions for you when your head is unclear and you are facing a water hose of decisions. The best person to make decisions for you is you! You might want to speak with someone neutral to bounce your ideas off of, but don’t be afraid to go with your gut. At the end of the process, you will be left with all the decisions you made and the clearer the choices are during the process, the better the ultimate outcome.