How to Prepare for Your Divorce

by | Dec 31, 2019 | blog, divorce, finance, finances

Divorce is hard. Taking the time to prepare can make it easier. In October, November, and December, we provided our best advice on how to prepare physically, mentally, and financially on social media. (Follow us here). In case you missed it, here’s a wrap up.

Your physical health is the foundation of your life. You need a strong foundation for a successful life. Take the time to move your body, nourish it with healthy food (yes, we mean eat your veggies), and get plenty of rest.

If you don’t do anything else, do this. It is so important, especially when you are going through something hard, like a divorce. If you take care of your body, you will have more energy. Divorce requires you to be brave. It’s hard to be brave when you’re tired. When you feel physically strong, it helps you feel mentally strong. To get through your divorce, you’ll need all the mental strength you can muster. Moving your body, changes your mood. Exercise releases chemicals that make you feel good. At the beginning of a divorce, positive feelings are in short supply. You have to do whatever it takes to maintain your happiness, if not for you, then for your kids.

GO TO THERAPY. Seriously, stop reading this, and make a therapy appointment. Now!

Whether you are getting divorced because of a cheating spouse, physical or emotional abuse, or just because you grew apart, you have baggage. If you don’t find a therapist to help you unpack that baggage and leave it behind, you’ll take it into new relationships with you, and you will repeat the cycle all over again. Going to therapy doesn’t mean that you are crazy; it means that you are human. Go early and often. Please!

Finally, figure out your finances. If this feels overwhelming or impossible, remember you don’t have to have all the answers right now. Just focus on figuring out what you have (assets) and what you owe (debts). Then, work on a budget from when you and your spouse will be living separately. The important thing here is not spiral into an impossibility mindset and get down on yourself. If your spouse controls your finances, there is still information you can find out. For example, if you file joint taxes, ask your tax preparer for a copy. If you have joint bank accounts, go to the bank and ask for copies of the statements. Get a copy of your credit report to find out what debts are in your name.

If you can’t make a budget because you don’t know where you will be living, research average rent in your area. Call your cell phone provider to see what the cost is for you to have your own plan. Estimate a food budget for you and your future household members. Don’t worry about how much support you will receive or have to pay, just focus on what you need. It is your attorney’s job to help you find all the answers you need.

Divorce is a marathon, not a sprint. You wouldn’t run a marathon without preparing; don’t get divorced without preparing.

Jamie Mitchell
Managing Partner
Law Offices of Jamie Mitchell, LLC