Managing a divorce is a process. You might be wondering if it’s really possible to get a smart divorce and move on to a better life? The answer is yes – with a lot of hard work. Divorce is probably one of the most emotional experiences you will ever face. The process can be overwhelming. But, it need not be, if you are able to make your decisions with focus, hope and confidence.
The divorce process can be overwhelming. The need to stay focused and organized is even that much more important. Here are some ideas to help achieve those objectives…….. Keep a “Divorce Journal” If you’re in the midst of a divorce, or even contemplating one, consider keeping a journal of events for your family lawyer. Note all events that you feel are relevant to your divorce and may affect the outcome. These could be events that involve you or your children. You and your family lawyer will want to refer to this journal to help you confirm relevant dates and information. You might want to include this information in affidavits, letters, etc. It helps with accuracy of information and validates facts, dates, and times. The journal might prove especially important if you end up going to trial. Judges don’t know what really happened; they only know what the family lawyers, through their clients, tell them. So a diary of everything that happens could be used as evidence if you go to court. The party that fails to keep a diary is at a significant disadvantage. Create a Meetings Notebook What I advise my clients which they find most helpful to staying organized, refreshing their memory, and ensuring they follow up on meetings and tasks is to create a “divorce notebook”. This book can be divided into four sections:
- Meeting agenda and questions
- Notes from the meeting
- Next steps or to do list. Include deadline dates, completion dates, and the date when the completed task or document was communicated or sent to your legal counsel.
- Contacts, their phone numbers, and miscellaneous information
When creating and maintaining your own notebook, be sure to date everything.
Set Up a Divorce Filing System
Your filing system need not be anything complicated or expensive, and simple file folders are perfect. I just happen to prefer legal size, but use whatever works best for you. One way to start is to file all of your divorce-related paperwork in chronological order within specific headings that are relevant to your case. Here are some ideas for the headings you may want to set up:
- correspondence with family lawyer, organized by date and topic
- orders or agreements -folder for each member of your divorce team (financial expert, parenting expert, and so forth).
- financial statements-
- the statements of assets and liabilities -invoices/statements-
- all costs associated with your divorce -parenting plan
- discovery or deposition transcripts. If you want to get more detailed, you could arrange files more specificall
- according to particular financial or child-related issues, for instance.
Of course, the detail you go into also depends on the type of divorce you’re pursuing. For instance, you might not need a discovery or deposition file if you are not litigating.
How to Make Smart Decisions About Divorce
Get informed about the divorce process. Take the time to find a family lawyer that is right for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure to understand the dispute resolutions negotiation, mediation, collaborative family law, arbitration, mediation/arbitration and litigation. As best you can, try to treat your divorce as a business transaction; keep the emotions of divorce out of your family lawyer’s office. You’re in charge; make sure to understand all your options before making decisions. Information is knowledge and knowledge is power!
Staying Sane Throughout Divorce
Divorce has become so common today that people underestimate how powerful an experience it is. Understand that you are grieving your divorce, which is normal and to be expected. The fact is you are experiencing losses you probably never thought would happen. To help get you through this difficult time, develop your support network including friends, family, clergy, parenting groups, divorce groups, and/or a therapist. I promise you, you will feel better. As the saying goes – time is a healer!
The number-one coping strategy is to get yourself in a position of wanting very little from your ex-spouse. The less you want from him/her, the less frustrated you will be. Think about it – if you couldn’t change your ex when you were married, you certainly aren’t going to change him/her now. Also, realize you will never get the apology you want and may even deserve. Taking control of your life, getting organized and making informed decisions will be empowering.
You need to give yourself the opportunity to explore and consciously make choices about the life you want to lead post divorce. Envision what you would like life to like to look like when you are ready to start moving on, and think about what you need to do to get there. Don’t procrastinate! It’s up to you to make these things happen. Your goal should be to create a better life today than the one you had before.
Your New Found Time
You will likely have to get used to the fact that your children are not going to be with you 24/7. They will be spending part of their time with your ex and part with you. You can’t control what goes on when your kids are with their other parent. Learn to let go and don’t worry about the stuff you can’t control. Use the time when your kids are not with you productively. Pursue your dreams and your interests. Maybe now you will even have the time to see a movie or go to the gym. So, go to your closet and clean out the emotional demons, put on your favorite jeans and t-shirt or great new outfit and make plans for a fabulous evening. Just go out and have fun!
Here are 6 great articles and tips
A divorce can take its toll on everyone involved. As you process the reality of what you and your family are actually going through, you might be left feeling mentally and emotionally drained, and quite alone in your experiences. But the truth is, you’re not, and you will get through it. Here are 6 great articles and tips with solid divorce advice to help you get through this difficult time
1.You’re going through a divorce and your life is about to change quite dramatically. One woman discusses how a surprise divorce gave her a new path in life.
2.So your ex has moved out – now what? One of the best ways to get through a divorce is to reclaim your own space. Check out our guide to moving your home from “we” to “me”.
3. Your marriage may be over, but that doesn’t mean your life is. Expert tips on how to survive life post-divorce, and how to find your happiness again.
4. Identifying herself as a formerly married person didn’t work. But as a fabulous single woman…
5. It may not be easy, but it is possible. This artlcle explores ways in which you can rebuild your social life after a divorce.
6. The dating game has never been an easy one. And now that you’ve been there, done that, and are back again, how do you get back in? You will also find useful tips here to ensure you are putting your children’s best interests first.
Divorce is a process:
- understand the “emotional divorce” versus the “legal divorce”
- understand the various dispute resolutions available
- make informed decisions
- minimize the financial, legal and emotional stress
Be SMART about your divorce State your goals and objectives at the beginning. Make sure these are realistic. Maximize your information and knowledge base. Avoid reacting to your emotions. Retain the best possible divorce team your budget allows. Treat your divorce as a business transaction. How to start The Smart Divorce
- Develop your support network – therapist, support groups, clergy, divorce consultant and friends.
- Choose your family lawyer carefully – go to a consultation before you decide to retain
- Be informed. Understand the dispute resolutions – do-it-yourself; negotiation; mediation; collaborative family law; arbitration; litigation.
- Put your children’s best interests first.
- Hire the right team of professionals based on your needs – parenting expert; financial adviser and others.
- Get your finances in order.
- Stay organized – create your divorce notebook and divorce journal.
- Have a vision for how you want your life to unfold and develop strategies to get there.
You might also be interested in reading Canadian divorce consultant Deborah Moskovitch’s Midlife divorce advice for women. Are children of a divorce really doomed? Check out Divorce myths debunked to find out. Also, is it possible your parents are to be blamed for your midlife divorce?
Navigating the emotional storm of a marriage ending can be overwhelming. You may be asking yourself, "My marriage is over; what should I do now?" Our latest podcast and blog post delves into this...
Divorce. For many, it's a word that carries a heavy weight—conjuring up images of conflict, bitterness, and shattered dreams. But what if there was another way? A way to navigate the complicated...