If we got into marriage knowing that we would have to file for a divorce/ dissolution of marriage after 2, 5, 6, 10, 20, or 50 years, few people would care about walking the aisle. But, the future is unpredictable, our feelings change, what we perceive as eternal love turns into something we cannot explain, and the person you thought you would grow old and toothless with becomes the person you do not want to meet or see.
While there is a lot that goes into the dynamics of marriage, one thing is clear; people deal with ‘I want a divorce’ differently. Most of the time, all you wish is that someone explained all that before you got yourself stuck deep in the murky waters. You wish that there were things you should have done differently after the divorce and you always have endless questions.
If all this sounds familiar, this article is what you are looking for. In it, we explore some of the ways you could maneuver through a divorce better.
You need to save money – divorce is a costly affair, and from legal fees to the time spent at court, you’ll need to have enough money. You also need to open a separate account that is not accessible to your spouse. Close your joint accounts and document the lifestyle you led when married. Documenting your lifestyle involves tracking family finances, making copies of important documents, and keeping the documents safe.
You’ll need photos or copies of your recent tax returns, mortgage statement, bank statements, HELOC statement, paystubs, credit card statements, monthly expenses, retirement account statements, pension plan statements, and recent statements on debts.
Custody disputes preparations
This will be the toughest bit. However, you must keep a diary with all the details about your kids, what they do and how. Keep copies of drug evaluations or police reports that show that your spouse is not fit to be considered the better spouse. You also need to get reports from the school showing parent attendance but do not move out of your home, unless there is violence.
Find a great family lawyer
Don’t rush into this. Review and interview potential attorneys recommended and ensure that you have an attorney who’s been in court before. Meet up with your accountant too and seek the attorney’s guidance as well.
Getting ready emotionally through grief
To prepare emotionally, you must grieve. This is the worst bit, especially when dealing with infidelity and adultery laws in Canada. But, there are no two ways around this. And the best bit about this is that you do not have to sit and cry yourself to sleep every day.
What this means is that you should prepare yourself by accepting that you are getting a divorce. This process takes time. There will be denial where you are certain that ‘this is not happening to me’, then anger where you are sure ‘you do not deserve it’; then you will bargain and think that maybe, just maybe, ‘there is something you can do to mend things’, and then you will fall into depression.
When depressed you give up on yourself and lose hope, but just when you are giving up, acceptance sweeps in, and you know that ‘ things could have been worse’ or you ‘finally get to cruise around the world.’ Now, your grieving process has to go through all these stages and in no particular order. It may take long or a short while, but when you finally accept it, you will be self-aware and more peaceful than you ever imagined.
Tune in rather than out as a parent
Going through a divorce when you have kids is gut-wrenching and so, most couples who know that they should divorce keep off the nightmare for long. Unfortunately, doing putting it off will harbor more hate makes you unhappy, and the anger, as well as the anxiety, that comes with it is almost crippling. Unfortunately, this eats away all the joy your family ever had, and your kids will feel it. They will stop communicating too and may end up depressed.
So, if you feel that you are at the end of the road, you should deal with instead of putting it off. You may not see it now but divorce can provide better stability, and you may become better parents apart than you ever were together. Once you make up your minds, try to explain the situation to your kids and be extra kind, empathetic, and validate their feelings – they are frustrated, and you should understand that. While at it, don’t spite your ex.
Time to make financial changes
Let’s talk strategy. This could be the one thing you are scared about the most but the earlier you accept that you will have to make some big financial changes, the easier it becomes. Look at the situation you are in head-on and devise ways of making things work for you. If you have to talk more shifts, downsize your home, limit trips, or sell the luxurious things you own, do it. No need crying over all that spilled milk. So, get a financial planner, rethink your priorities and goals, and decide what you need to do to get through the rest of your life.
You should take stock of what you own and owe, evaluate your spending, and make long-term goals. Don’t forget to close all the joint accounts between you two.
There is no shame in admitting that your marriage did not work. Despite the societal stigma, you will find great people willing to support you. On the days that you are drained, those people or person will help because they understand. Your health, emotional, psychological, and physical is essential, and when the time comes, you will need help. Speak about all that hurt with people you trust and ask for help when you need it.
To make things easier, you should opt for a peaceful divorce option, take responsibility, maintain a high level of integrity, and always focus on the big picture.
You also need to be smart about how you communicate and be careful with the comments or updates you share on social media.