Are you ready for a divorce? Divorces are always difficult, but before you file, take a long, hard look at yourself because you’re going to have to face and conquer these 5 hard things.
1. Why Do You Want a Divorce? There is only one right answer – you want to end the marriage. You need to be clear that you want the marriage to be over and that you want to continue on your own. You shouldn’t be seeking revenge. You shouldn’t be threatening. You shouldn’t be just trying to hurt the other person because they have hurt you. You have to recognize that you want to end the marriage and that means that you will have to establish a new normal as a single person.
2. Have you Dealt with Mixed Emotions? Usually in a divorce, there are conflicting emotions. You may remember the early days fondly. You may feel guilty that you are leaving. You may feel betrayed by something your spouse has done. Recognize your mixed feelings and know that while you are – and will be — struggling with some of the factors in the divorce, you are still ready to go forward. You must recognize and handle the fact that there will be parts of the divorce that you will give you mixed emotions and that you can handle them.
3. Have you Prepared for the Divorce? There are many financial changes – and many emotional changes – during a divorce. Have you given your future serious thought? A divorce is the end of a marriage. Do you have a plan for the future? How do you see yourself in a year or five years? Give up the bitterness, revenge and that feeling of being helpless. You need to look at the future from a position of strength. That means knowing that you can pay the bills, knowing where you will live and making all the appropriate arrangements for child custody with your soon-to-be-ex. It means having a plan.
4. Can you Deal with the Unpleasantness? There’s going to be some. You are going to feel the unhappiness your family and friends may feel over your failed marriage. You need to be able to accept and deal with your children’s pain and, possibly, with their anger. Some friends may support you; others may turn away. You are most likely going to have to handle your life with less money, fewer assets. You may have a real sense of relief and freedom to be out of an unhappy situation, but you will have to deal with some unpleasant consequences.
5. Are You Ready to Take Control? During and after the divorce, you’ll have to make decisions that will affect your future. How will you divide assets? In the future, when the plumbing breaks, you’re going to have to be the one to get it fixed. There are big decisions and little ones. You need to remove your thinking from the emotional to the practical because you are planning your life and you are the one in control.
You have one invaluable person to lean on – your divorce lawyer. An experienced divorce lawyer understands what it is like to get a divorce from both the practical side – how to make the hard decisions about alimony, child support, child custody and more – and the emotional side. Listen to the advice. Don’t give in on an important issue just because you want to be done. Don’t demand something simply out of spite. Rely on your divorce attorney and make sure that you understand yourself and your emotions. Be ready to create a new future.