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10 Ways to Move Forward With Your Divorce
If 2020 is the year you've resolved to divorce, here are 10 steps to take to becoming single.
Is 2020 the year you’ve finally resolved to get a divorce?
While this decision isn’t ever easy, many people put it off for lots of reasons, often due to fear of the unknown and not being sure of their next steps. Here are 10 ways to move forward with your divorce this new year if you’re resolved to live a new, single life.
1. GET EDUCATED ABOUT THE DIVORCE PROCESS.
If you’re considering divorce, begin by exploring your options – and a split’s impact on your life emotionally, financially, and legally from professionals in the field. You’ll also want to learn about custody, child support, alimony, and division of assets and debts. Try to work through your best and worst-case scenarios so you can be prepared.
2. GET UP TO SPEED ON YOUR FINANCES.
All too often we see that when a couple breaks up, one person is totally in the dark about their financial situation, giving their ex an advantage in the divorce. At the very least, even before you break the news to your spouse, you should know the basics: your income, household expenses, how much you spend and owe, and your assets and liabilities.
3. GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR EMOTIONS.
Going through a divorce totally upends your current lifestyle and family dynamic, even when this is a change you really want. Take the time to check in with your feelings to see if you’re really ready to make the move.
4. EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS.
Divorce proceedings don’t always have to result in lengthy and costly litigation. You have other choices, including collaboration and mediation, which can save you time, money, and stress. Collaboration and mediation allow you to resolve your divorce and its outcomes in partnership with your ex. If you feel that you and your soon-to-be-ex can work together amicably, staying out of court may be a very viable option for you.
5. WORK WITH A THERAPIST.
Even if you think you’ve got a handle on your feelings, it’s still a good idea to see a therapist or counselor who can help you work through what you’re experiencing. In addition, once you’ve shared the news about your split with your kids, giving them access to express their emotions with a trusted third party is a smart idea.
6. TELL YOUR SPOUSE (AND KIDS) YOU WANT A DIVORCE.
Once you’ve made the decision, you’ll have to break the news to your family, which won’t be easy. Once you’ve told your spouse you want a divorce and it’s had a chance to sink in, you’ll need to work together to tell your kids – that’s a delicate conversation. You’ll need to be ready to handle your children’s questions and emotional reactions.
7. SET GOALS AND DEADLINES – AND STAY THE COURSE.
Whether you use a physical day planner or your Google calendar, try to map out the action steps (and deadlines) you need to take weekly, bimonthly, or monthly to hit your goal. When you talk to your attorney, he or she can help you map these steps out better. For starters, though, you could set a goal to meet with three or four attorneys to choose the best match for you. In addition, expect that people around you may not always be supportive and may say things that make you question your decision. If you’re resolute that a divorce is the best way forward for you, stay focused on the steps you need to take to get there, no matter what other distractions pop up.
8. DON’T BADMOUTH YOUR SPOUSE.
While it’s easy to disparage your soon-to-be-ex, try to refrain since this can make a tough situation worse. For example, your ex might retaliate or make the divorce process more difficult. In addition, your children might feel confused and even assume they have to take sides.
9. GET ACTIVE AND STAY SOCIAL.
Starting the divorce process, even if you feel ready for it, can still spark all kinds of feelings – anger, sadness and loneliness, for example. It’s a good idea to commit to a regular fitness routine, whether it’s at a gym, by yourself, or with an accountability partner. In addition, schedule hangout time with your family and friends, and get involved in activities you enjoy, whether it’s painting, horseback riding, or something else.
10. BUILD A SUPPORT NETWORK.
Whether it’s other divorce veterans or a circle of close friends, make sure you have people you can reach out to when the going gets tough or you just need a sympathetic ear. Don’t be afraid to tell them you may call on them for support throughout your divorce process.
Your bottom line? If you’ve made getting divorced one of your 2020 New Year’s resolutions, take the first step by getting educated about the process and your options.
If you’re considering divorce, our attorneys at Smedley Law Group can provide you with the professional advice you need to make an educated decision. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.