This week on the TruNorth Divorce Solutions “Divorce is NOT for Sissies” blog series we’re finishing up The ABCs of Divorce, Separation, & Uncoupling with part three as we finish the divorce alphabet.
Q is for Quit Beating Yourself Up
The rates for divorce are difficult to argue with, so you might as well stop blaming it all on yourself. It takes two to create a successful marriage. Use this as an opportunity to explore what your role was in the breakup so that you can move forward and, perhaps, find a more satisfying relationship in the future.
R is for Real Estate
For many, the largest dispute will also be over the largest asset, typically, the house. If you share a home together and it was purchased after you were married, at the time of divorce both spouses will continue to own the house and remain on the deed or mortgage until the divorce is finalized. A CDFA® (Certified Divorce Financial Advisor) can help you determine what should happen with the marital home by answering questions like, who can afford to keep the home, should it be sold and the assets split, can one partner be “bought out”?
S is for Spousal Support
Spousal support is not the same as alimony but many use the terms interchangeably. Spousal support is payments made to the lesser earning spouse before the divorce is final and it’s calculated based on relative incomes of the parties. Alimony, on the other hand, is what one spouse pays another after the divorce and it can be based on many factors, e.g., age, health, length of the marriage, and financial need. In most states today, alimony is seen as rehabilitative and temporary, enabling the lesser-earning spouse to become self-supporting. It’s important to understand how alimony is viewed in your state and even at the local court level.
T is for Trial
In the case that both parties cannot agree on a mutually beneficial solution, the divorce may ultimately be decided by the court. This entails presenting your case in a formal trial to a judge who will hear both spouses’ cases and then make the final call regarding child support, shared property and assets, and alimony. The vast majority of divorce cases do not go to trial but may still involve the court with motions, petitions, conferences, hearings, and ongoing attorney negotiations until settled. Litigation, or involving the court, takes control out of your hands, can be expensive, and emotionally draining.
U is for Unbiased Opinions
When someone tells you that you need a professional, what if what they really said was; you need someone who is trained to listen without bias and provide objective feedback on how to process divorce, a very traumatic event. Seek information from a variety of reputable divorce professionals, including a divorce coach, divorce financial planner (CDFA®), mediator, litigator, and mental health therapist.
V is for Visitation
Visitation is a somewhat outdated word as it implies that one parent gets very limited amounts of time just “visiting” with the child(ren). The majority of divorced parents now share both legal and physical custody today. You’ll want a clearly spelled out custody agreement and parenting plan to establish schedules and set boundaries for important decisions regarding the health and welfare of your child(ren).
W is for When You Need Help, Ask
When someone offers you an apple, take the apple. You need support during a divorce as divorce affects all aspects of our lives. Friends and family will be supportive but it’s important to get the right help from professionals, whether therapy, divorce, or parent coaching and financial planning. You want to rely on people you can trust and are objective so you can create clear pragmatic solutions.
Y is for You Won’t Always Feel This Way
Don’t dwell on the past and what has already transpired. It’s happened, and it’s done. There’s no point in analyzing further, all that’s left is to keep walking forward.
Z is for Zen (H2)
As time-consuming as a divorce can be, it is therefore of the utmost importance to keep taking care of you. This means some kind of daily practice that is easy to replicate and won’t cause additional stress.
Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are great tools for accessing small moments of peace and surrender during hectic schedules and emotional stress. Even five minutes every day can help.
TruNorth Divorce is Here for You
Can you say your divorce ABCs? If you need a more thorough guide to starting your divorce journey, send me a message on Facebook. In the meantime, you can flip through my free ebook, 7 Things to Do Before You Divorce. Above all, take care of yourself!