Simple tips for surviving divorce
There will be days when surviving divorce will seem like the most challenging thing you’ll ever do, even if you’re the one who instigated the separation. Ending a marriage is a long process, which can be complicated, expensive and just plain horrible. In addition to the emotional upheaval, you have to get a grip on the financial and legal aspects of your situation, and if you’re going through a divorce with children involved, you’re going to want to try to minimise the impact that it has on them as well. Managing all of that at once can be tricky, but with a bit of organisation and the right support, there’s no reason why you can’t get through your divorce successfully and start planning a bright future for yourself and your family.
Monitor your emotional state
Going through a divorce is always going to be an emotional experience and it can sometimes be difficult to handle all the things you need to do when you’re not feeling your best. Before you make any financial or legal decisions, it’s a good idea to stop for a minute and consider whether you’re in the right emotional state to do so. If you’re not, you need to be willing to take a step back and wait until you are ready, so you can avoid making choices that you’ll regret in the future.
If you need a bit of help to deal with how you’re feeling, Relationships Australia has a lot of great information on where to start looking for help, and divorce support groups, professional counsellors, and even your GP can all help you to come to terms with what’s happening in your life. Learning some simple tactics for keeping your emotions under control will allow you to remain calm when you need to, so that you can make smart choices for your future, rather than emotionally charged ones.
Keep an eye on your money
It’s unlikely that you’re going to come out the other side of your divorce in the same financial position that you were in before. During your marriage, you and your spouse worked together to build up your assets, but few households have the resources to sustain the same quality of life for everyone when they’re split in two. In the early days of separation, you’re going to need to keep a close eye on your money, and that starts with making sure that your joint accounts are protected. There are several different options for doing this, so have a talk with your solicitor (and your ex, if that’s possible) about what you can do to ensure that your cash assets are divided fairly.
At some point, you’re going to need to negotiate your parenting arrangements and property settlement – and it’s usually best of you can work this one out between yourselves as much as possible. The family court system in Australia is already overloaded, and it encourages people to have a ‘do it yourself’ divorce if they can. For starters, you’ll save a bundle on legal fees, but you’re also more likely to be able to come up with settlement plans that suit your needs best, and there’s a chance that this might not be the case if you head to court. Just make sure you get some independent legal advice (which means not taking the advice of your ex’s solicitor!) before agreeing to anything.
You’re also going to need to take a look at your budget to make sure that it caters for your new circumstances, and to be honest, you may need to look at doing things differently for a little while to make it through this ‘lean’ time until your property settlement is sorted out. Just remember that this is a temporary phase, which is all about making sure that you can stay on your feet until the permanent arrangements are made, and that things won’t be like this forever.
Get ready to negotiate
Getting divorced is a long, complex process and you will have a lot to cope with, but surviving divorce is possible. And with the right support and advice you can come out the other side with the strength and resources you need to build a great new life.
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Tags: surviving divorce, do it yourself divorce, divorce with children
Analaura Luna is an author, wealth adviser and founder of Your Family Your Money. Your Family Your Money’s goal is to simplify traditionally complex financial strategies, demystify financial jargon and debunk common financial myths, becoming every family’s first stop for financial advice, information and inspiration.