Almost every relationship begins with that “giddy” period of falling in love, imagining a long life together with your spouse, maybe having a couple of children together, and perhaps even a pet to round out the happy loving family.
What most people can’t imagine, is what happens when that early love, respect, and admiration morphs into something unlike a fairytale … and even can spiral into dysfunction. If you find yourself traveling down this slippery slope, here are some things to think about before you make the irreversible decision to divorce.
The first and best place to start is with yourself, that is the man or woman you see every morning in the mirror. Ask yourself if you have tried everything you can, to make your relationship last forever.
Certainly, your wedding vows were not meant to be taken lightly. So, to avoid deep regret later, make sure to do everything possible now, to save your marriage. Have you been brutally honest with yourself, about how you truly feel? Have you been brutally honest with your spouse, about what you are thinking, and what you need the most from them right now? Is it really fair to expect them to automatically know where you are, mentally?
Have you insisted that you both attend Marriage Counseling and/or Therapy? If you have done that, did you give 100% of yourself to that process?
If you feel you’ve done all that you can, and the relationship remains irretrievably broken, the next step is to look toward your future. Are you ready for a big drop in your standard of living financially? Do you understand the impact of dividing the same money that supported one household before, and trying to have it stretch to support two separate households going forward? You BOTH most likely will be facing a reduction in your lifestyle.
Here is where you need to carefully consider what you will be able to afford when considering a place to live. This is also a great time to meet with a divorce financial planner such as myself, to begin evaluating your financial options, understand what your current financial picture looks like, and examine the consequences of your decisions around potential settlements.
If you aren’t 100% clear on your present financial situation, now’s the time to get out of the fog! Begin gathering copies of all your financial documents, so you can be fully educated when it comes to discussing different types of accounts.
If you have no idea how much money you’ll have or how much it will cost you to live, it will be impossible to plan for the next phase of your life. A divorce financial planner / Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) can be a valuable resource and guide for you throughout this process.
Lastly, don’t overlook your support network. Divorce is one of the most difficult things a person can face in life, and you can generally count on the process to last at least 6 months, perhaps quite a bit longer … depending on the process option you and your spouse actually choose.
Be sure to surround yourself with people that will love and support you, without being judgmental. You’ll need all the support you can get. Take a deep breath … take one step at a time … get educated … you WILL get through this.
Call my office today at (850) 252-6325 to schedule a complimentary half-hour consultation. I can help you successfully navigate the financial aspects of your divorce with calm and confidence. You don’t have to go at this alone.