Whether you are at the beginning of a divorce or just thinking about it, we believe it is important that you should be aware of what lies ahead. We have set out our best practical (non-legal) tips to help you untie the knot as painlessly as possible.
No one will care more about your life, your needs, or your future – than you. If you don’t know how divorce works, now is the time to find out. If you don’t understand the “ins and outs” of your financial situation – get a financial adviser to advise you.
By understanding better what is going on in your divorce and the process – you can make better informed decisions.
Set clear goals and objectives.
By having clear and realistic goals and objectives, negotiations will be easier. Most people never take the time to decide what truly matters to them in their divorce. They don’t have clearly defined goals.
Identify what matters most to you in your divorce as soon as possible. Then keep your eye on the goal. Focus on what matters and let go of what does not.
By setting goals you can decide what really matters to you, and what is not so important.
Get copies of all your financial documents as soon as possible. The more you can organise your own financial documents, the more time and money you will save and the quicker you are likely to reach a resolution.
As the saying goes: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.
A divorce produces a lot of paperwork. The simplest way to keep track of all these papers is to keep them organised in one place – whether on paper in a file or digitally.
Make financial decisions logically and rationally.
The financial decisions you make during your divorce can have repercussions in your life for years to come. To make the best decisions you need to think logically and rationally – not emotionally.
Put aside any wish of emotional justice. A Judge’s job is to follow the law and decide what is fair.
Take time to make decisions.
Some decisions have real time limits. Most do not. Accordingly, take the time you need to make proper decisions in your divorce.
The more important the decision, the more you need to consider it carefully.
Be truthful about your financial disclosure
Be honest and candid when providing financial disclosure. If you deliberately mislead your partner of your financial position or fail to disclose assets, the Court has the power to overturn any agreement reached. Not being truthful is the quickest way to promote conflict.
Stick to a routine
Divorce is disruptive and difficult. It will help if you try to keep things as normal as possible. Don’t skip meals or change sleeping habits—routines can help you keep focus. Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress.
Know that you will lose some of your mutual friends.
No, it is not fair. But unfortunately, it is likely to happen. Some people will take side and will avoid you like the plague.
You will soon learn who your real friends are.
Negotiate and agree as much as you can.
The more you and your spouse can talk, the more time, money, and stress you will save in your divorce.
The cost of divorce is measured in more than just money.
Try not to sweat the small stuff.
Insisting that you get every last penny that you are “due” is not worth it if it costs you years of your life, and impacts on your job, health, finances, and your relationship with your children.
Be careful who you listen to.
Getting divorce advice from your friends, family, or your neighbour who got divorce two years ago, is not a good idea. None of these people (although well-meaning) are likely to be objective divorce experts.
Instead, rely on your friends and family for emotional support while you go through your divorce, but don’t rely on them to give you qualified divorce advice.
Recognise that your divorce is only a stage in your life.
Recognise that getting separated or divorced is just another chapter in your life experience. Letting your divorce consume your life is a complete waste of time and energy. Don’t ruminate in the past but focus on the future.
One day at a time.
Let’s be honest, divorce can be ugly. You will feel down and battered at times. To avoid feeling helpless, break your life down into small and manageable life size bits. Focus on doing one thing at a time. Take a walk or go to the cinema. It all counts when you’re feeling down.
Be mindful moving forward….one day at a time.
Other helpful resources
This helpful video about Advice on separation from Gingerbread