A divorce is a shattering event that can lay waste to one’s emotions, private life, and finances. It often involves a great disruptive aftermath, whereby you can be forced to moving out and starting anew on your own. Sometimes, it takes years to mend the mess that divorce brings about.
However, there are certain things you can do to mitigate its destructive effect, as well as handle your spouse’s financial ineptitude, or outright malice. You need to get your ducks in a row and tackle the difficult, emotionally-draining, lengthy, and expensive process. It is an ordeal all right, but it does not have to turn your life on its head completely.
Adapting to the new reality
Consequences of divorce are far-reaching and multifarious.
First off, it is estimated that an average divorce costs $15,000-20,000. In the wake of partner separation, ex-spouses are faced with a host of payments, including child support, alimony, mortgages, taxes, health insurance, afterschool activities, etc. They need to prepare for the financial reality in which they cannot count on the earnings of the spouse or a solid credit score anymore.
Therefore, the moment your marriage becomes a one-way street to divorce, you need to take active measures to protect your assets and hard-earned money. Gather all the vital information such as account numbers and passwords. Make copies of all crucial documents. You will need to present them to your lawyer and also use them to reinforce your negotiating position.
Next, evaluate your possessions and go through your finances. Beware in case you have a joint account and credit cards with your spouse. Usually, either party can withdraw money, so it is highly advisable to close them. You cannot afford to be responsible for someone’s continuous spending and financial recklessness.
And instead of emptying the accounts yourself, it is usually preferable to have banks and financial institutions freeze the accounts. Alternatively, you might be able to change the account so that two signatures are required for withdrawals. Finally, get a new credit report to see where you stand and what adjustments need to be made.
Next, find a trusted matrimonial lawyer to undo the legal contract that is your marriage and then work out a legally binding divorce agreement. This document is paramount to your efforts to minimize the negative impact of divorce, as it will govern your life for years to come. Have an open discussion with a legal expert about any unique circumstances that apply to your case.
Get a full-service package if possible. I have seen many positive instances of legal best practices that empower spouses around the world. For instance, a reputable Parramatta solicitor offers parenting plans, spousal maintenance, and recovery orders. There should be a company with a similar value proposition in your local area as well. Carry out some research.
Get down to business
Feel free to talk about divorced friends, colleagues, and relatives because they likely have valuable insights on how to navigate the stormy waters of divorce. It is a good idea to brace yourself for what is about to take place and have realistic expectations about the outcome. Know that you cannot get everything you want.
Distinguish between deal-breakers and things you are prepared to negotiate on. This will save you a bunch of time, money, and headaches. Namely, to keep the spending in check, you can try to get out of it all as quickly as you can. As the clock ticks, your budget quickly melts.
So, avoid getting entangled in an emotional feud as it leads nowhere. Despite all the bravado and hardball involved, divorce actually plays out much like a business negotiation. You might want to dig up dirty laundry, but keep the kids out of it. Refrain from using them as leverage. Bear in mind that divorces are usually not a landslide victory for either side.
For better or worse, they revolve around compromising and managing losses.
Bring the house down
Trials and tribulations of divorce are a nasty business. There is no point in beating around the bush, so do your homework and compose yourself. Take precautions and get your financial house in order. Know what you are facing and what the likely outcome will be.
Know what assets you have and which ones you want. Establish a list of what is non-negotiable. Enlist the best legal team you can afford because what you are about to sign will affect your life for a long time. Take necessary steps to limit the damage and preserve your mental health, wellbeing, and financial future.