Divorce 101: The 10 Things You Need To Get Divorce Ready

In Divorce 101: The 10 Things You Need To Get Divorce Ready we take a look at the things you need to do from the get-go, and if you’ve fallen off the divorce waggon and need to re-start as you mean to go on.

You need a plan

Fail to plan and you plan to fail. Whether Benjamin Franklin said this or not, failing to plan your divorce will cost you both time and money. This is not the time to go with the flow. because strategy is everything! You need to know where you want to be and how you will get there. A plan keeps you on track and reminds you of what’s important when the curveballs hit (and they probably will). Planning your divorce keeps you accountable to yourself and it keeps you focussed on your end goal – getting out of your bad marriage and into your new life.

You need a team

Divorce is hard work, there’s no getting around it. Having the right team around you is essential. Friends, family, coach, financial adviser, lawyer… pick your divorce team wisely. The right people aren’t always the ones who agree with you about everything! Sometimes we need someone to show us a different perspective and challenge our current thinking because this helps us grow. Equally, you want to know people have your back and are working with and for you, not against you, not draining your energy. Now is the time to step away from the energy vampires! So choose who you spend your time and money with wisely. Read more on picking your divorce team here.

You need to know your values

Your values are your guiding lights – they tell you what you need to focus on and help you make decisions. What’s important to you? Spend time considering this in detail. Be honest about your values and look to yourself for answers – this is your divorce, not anyone else’s. Even if your best friend is divorced, your divorce will be different to theirs. And remember, divorce is a process – your values may change as you grow in confidence and move forward, so check in with yourself regularly.

You need to let go

Let go of anger, jealousy and pain. I know this isn’t easy! Seeing your ex living with a new partner or spending money like it’s going out of fashion is hard. Hearing them spreading untruths amongst friends and on social media can drive you insane.   Let it go. Block and remove them from social media. It’s not giving in to stop playing the mind games. It’s about knowing what’s important. Stop punishing yourself by letting them dictate how you feel. Those closest to you know the truth. Your ex does not deserve your energy.  You, and those you love, do. Make the decision to let it all go. 

You need to be organised

Divorce involves a lot of paperwork. There are forms to complete, there are letters to file and there are statements to make. Keep note of what’s needed when, and make copies of everything. Invest in a printer if you don’t have one – it’ll be cheaper in the long run and save you lots of time. Have a filing cabinet or concertina folder for everything divorce-related. File your paperwork as you receive or create it and you’ll be more in control. Being able to lay your hands on what you need without trawling through drawers and cupboards saves untold stress.

You need to be financially savvy

A new life as a single person means a new financial start. You need to get to grips with what you have and what you owe, both individually and jointly with your ex. If your ex was the money manager in your relationship this might feel scary. Start gently. Look at your bank statements. Look at what you’re spending. Explore sources of financial support if needed. Did you know you can claim even if you still share a house? Take it step by step and get help if you struggle. You can do this.  

You need to prioritise you

Remember, you are important – your health and wellbeing are important. Make time to do the things that replenish you. Self-care is always important but especially so when you’re going through a stressful life experience like divorce. If you have children you might feel like you need to focus all your energy on them. But children are smart – they can sense when you’re stressed. They need you to be calm and happy.  Take a walk, have a hot bath, get your nails done, whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself. And keep doing it.  Stress and anxiety take their toll. Divorce is a long game so build in self-care from the get-go and if you haven’t started yet, start now!

You need to keep an open mind

It’s good to have a plan (see point one!) but being rigid in how you want the divorce to proceed can keep you locked in conflict and drive up costs. Keep an open mind about solutions and you will reach a negotiated settlement sooner. This doesn’t mean rolling over and accepting whatever your ex says. It means checking in with your values and having more than one acceptable solution for yourself based on what’s truly important to you.

You need to understand divorce from the outset

If you make the time to understand the divorce process: what’s required, what’s important to the courts, to yourself and to your ex, you put yourself in charge, enabling you to make informed decisions. It means you can gather the information the courts will need without panic. It means you can instruct your solicitor rather than bounce ideas around with them (which is what many do but it’s the expensive way to go!). Read my Amazon best selling book ‘How To Be A Lady Who Leaves – The Ultimate Guide To Getting Divorce Ready’ to get to grips with the process and use my Understanding Divorce cards to keep you motivated.

You need to believe in yourself

Divorce 101: The 10 Things You Need To Get Divorce Ready  is fundamentally about you believing in you. This is your divorce. You must believe in it more than anyone. If you’ve decided to divorce it’s because you know that you will be happier when your marriage is legally ended.   And you must believe in you. It may feel overwhelming but you have what it takes to navigate divorce and come out the other side. You know that a fresh start, a sense of freedom and the chance to be you again, without your ex dragging you down, is worth it. Trust in your ability to create the new life you need.   And that’s Divorce 101 done! Build your support team, read the book (see point nine) and book in a chat with me if you want to cut through all the drama and get this divorce on track your way.

Emma Heptonstall, the Divorce Alchemist is author of the Amazon best selling book How to be a Lady Who Leaves, the Ultimate Guide to Getting Divorce Ready. A former lawyer, Emma is a practising family mediator and founder of Get Divorce Ready the online self-study and group programmes. Emma has been featured on BBC Radio, The Telegraph, the iPaper and in Marie Claire Magazine. To find out more visit www.emmaheptonstall.com

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