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How do I prepare for Divorce?

Preparing for Divorce sounds cold and calculating but this is not always the case. Some couples take a joint decision to part ways and are able to stay amicable throughout the entire process. Yes, preparing for Divorce doesn't have to be devious or manipulative.

For example, if you are a stay-at-home mum and you haven’t worked for the last ten years, preparing for divorce might mean getting yourself the training and education you need to re-enter the workforce and earn a livable income.

If you are living from payslip to payslip, preparing for divorce might mean saving enough money to pay for the professional fees in advance so that your divorce doesn’t saddle you or your spouse with debt you can’t pay.

If you are a parent, preparing for divorce might mean meeting with a child psychologist to learn what you and your spouse can do to minimize the damage that divorce does to your kids. That way, you can help your kids transition smoothly, instead of piling so much emotional baggage on them that they have to spend the rest of their lives in therapy.

The bottom line is that preparing for divorce doesn’t have to be evil. On the contrary, it can be one of the smartest things you ever do.

The more prepared you are for your divorce, the more time and money you are likely to save in the divorce process. If you’ve put together all the right paperwork before your divorce, you won’t have to scramble to try to collect it during your divorce.  You also won’t have to pay your solicitor or a financial adviser to sift through piles of paperwork in order to prepare your divorce documents.

So here are a few tips i hope you find useful.

Deal with Your Emotions First

Emotions drive divorce. Fact. They drive every argument, they fuel every court battle, and they cause most of the pain. The more you allow your emotions to run wild, the more likely your divorce will spin out of control. It really is that simple.

Of course, controlling your emotions doesn’t mean that you have to transform yourself into a robot. Divorce is hugely emotional. No matter what you do, you’re going to lose it sometimes. But, the more you can learn to keep your emotions in check, the less drama you will experience in your divorce.  Because of that, the smartest thing you can do is to get yourself a therapist or a divorce coach, or join a support group, as soon as possible. If you do you will least have a mechanism in place to help you deal with your emotions.

Get Organised & Collect Documents.

Divorce is a document-driven process. You are going to need to put together a small mountain of financial information in order to get through your divorce. (Sorry!) That includes gathering your income tax returns, payslips, P60's, bank statements, credit card statements, and tons of other documents. What’s more, it’s not going to be enough to just dump those documents in a pile on your solicitor's desk. You’ve got to get all your documents organised too. As a Divorce Coach, this is exactly what i help my clients with.

The more you can organise your financial information for your solicitor, the less money you will have to spend to have your solicitor organise that information for you. The problem is that, when you’re going through a divorce, you’re distracted. You can’t focus. Everything takes longer. So, the more organised you can be going into your divorce, the more grief you will save yourself during your divorce.

Invest in Your Education

The divorce process is not user-friendly. It’s complicated and difficult.  It doesn’t work the way most people think that it works. The more you know about divorce before you start the process, the easier your divorce process is likely to go. But, getting the education you need can be challenging.

Divorce affects almost every area of your life. That means that to get through your divorce well,  you need to know a little bit about a lot of different things.  You need to learn about the divorce process, dividing property, child and spousal maintenance, personal finance, parenting, child psychology, conflict resolution and more. While you don’t need to become an expert in everything just to make it through your divorce, knowing the basics in each area will help you in a big way. As a Divorce Coach, i can help you get educated in these areas throughout your divorce process.

Understand Your Finances.

You must understand how money works before you start the divorce process.  That means that you need to get comfortable working with numbers. If that thought scares you, a Divorce Coach can help you get to grips with your own finances.

You can’t divide your assets unless you know what you have and what you owe. You won’t know whether you will be able to survive after your divorce, unless you understand much money you will have coming in after your divorce, and what will be going out. If dealing with numbers has never been your thing, that’s okay. You don’t need to get a degree in higher math just to make it through your divorce. But you do need to understand the basics of personal finance.

Discover Your Options.

In today’s world, you can get a divorce using mediation, court or undertake a Collaborative Divorce. The divorce process that you use to get divorced can directly affect the outcome you get in your divorce. It can also affect your future relationships, your finances, and your kids. It can affect the amount of money and time you spend on your divorce. The problem is, most people don’t start to explore their divorce process options until after they see a solicitor. By then, it can be too late. Contact Your Divorce Coach if you would like to discuss your options.

Put Your Team Together.

No one should go through a divorce alone. Divorce is so challenging, complicated, and overwhelming that trying to go through it without the right help is like trying to win an Olympic gold medal without having coaches and trainers. You might be able to do it, but the odds are against you.

Divorce is legal, financial and emotional. In a perfect world, that means that your divorce team will have a solicitor specialising in family law, a financial adviser, a Divorce Coach and also a counsellor.  You will also need a personal support team of family and friends.  Putting the right team together takes time. If you can start interviewing and finding the right divorce professionals before you start your divorce, you will be prepared to move forward more quickly once your divorce is in process.

Make Peace With Your Divorce.

Getting a divorce may not be anything you ever thought you would be doing. It may go against everything you told yourself you believed in. Yet, divorce happens. Just because it happened to you doesn’t make you bad, wrong, evil or a failure. The only thing your divorce means is that your marriage didn’t work. Nothing more.

Yet, because of all the psychological baggage that goes with divorce, going through a divorce churns up a whole barrage of negative emotions. If you’re not prepared to deal with those emotions effectively, they will make your divorce more difficult. They can also make getting over your divorce infinitely more painful.  If you want to make peace with your divorce, you need to process your emotions.  You need time to be alone so you can cry, scream, beat a pillow, or do whatever you need to work through your emotions in a way that doesn’t hijack your divorce or stress out your kids.

In the end, while preparing for divorce can seem cold-hearted, it can actually save you and your family from an enormous amount of unnecessary pain. That doesn’t mean that getting ready to divorce will ever make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It won’t. But, it’s still one of the smartest things you can do.

Contact Your Divorce Coach if you need assistance with any aspect of your separation or divorce, either pre, during or post.

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