Divorce is difficult for everyone involved and it’s made even more difficult when people don’t know what to expect or how to handle what’s coming down the road. Time may heal the wounds, but getting good advice from the start will make everything a bit easier.
1. Get a support system. It’s natural to want to keep details of your divorce private, but you need to have a few people who you trust to talk with about everything that’s going on. The professionals at a law firm like Cordell & Cordell are great for legal advice, but they’re not going to offer the hand holding that your best friend will.
2. Crunch the numbers. Divorce is expensive and can cost around $20,000 – sometimes more. From lawyers to real estate costs, be prepared to drop a bundle on your divorce. If you know this early on, the price tag won’t come as such a shock and you’ll have time to prepare.
3. When it comes to alimony, do what your lawyer thinks you should, whether that’s paying it or collecting it. If you’re the one collecting the alimony, you may feel like you don’t want the support of your soon-to-be-ex spouse. You’re going to need the financial help, though – remember, divorce costs a lot. Don’t let pride get in the way of making sound business decisions.
4. Make a copy of all your financial records and keep them somewhere that your spouse doesn’t know about. Income tax returns, business records, bank statements, pay stubs, life insurance information, etc. should be filed away safely, even if right now you trust your spouse completely.
5. Figure out the division of your belongings on your own – don’t bring those conversations into court. You may think that your collection of pots and pans is really, really important, but a judge doesn’t want to bother with trivial issues. Save the “stuff” conversation for your living room.
6. Accept that it’s going to take a long time to recover, both emotionally and financially. It’s normal for it to take time to get your life back on track – move through the steps at your own pace.
Divorces rarely go smoothly 100% of the time. Talk to other people who’ve been through a divorce – you’ll realize you’re not alone in any of it. Take the advice of professionals who know what they’re talking about.