Divorce and what to do next

Divorce and what to do next is a topic that comes up frequently for my clients and members of my Facebook Group Ladies Who Leave. Many ladies get into a panic because they think that they have to have it all organised from the get go. They often feel incompetent because the divorce process is so far out of their comfort zone and they don’t understand. Breathe. It’s absolutely fine! Remember, people only know what they know. They only know what they need to know or what they’re interested in. So, give yourself a break! Answering these questions will help you manage your overwhelm and make decisions about what you should do next.

At first do nothing

Whenever you’re gripped by uncertainty, overwhelm or fear in your divorce, the first thing to do is nothing. Doing nothing allows you time to reflect. It allows you to be proactive later rather than reactive now. You’re much more likely to make a great decision by sitting on it for a while rather than reacting because it feels uncomfortable not to make a decision. Unless you are on a court imposed deadline or there are other financial implications for not making a decision, just park it for a while.

What’s the next thing that needs to happen?

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that I advocate knowing what you want and where you’re going at the start of your divorce. That clarity helps you to keep moving forward and it helps you communicate your wants and needs in a calm and relaxed way rather from a defensive position. However, once you have that overview, the only thing that you need to think about when things get challenging is what needs to happen next. Do you need to call your lawyer? Do you need to arrange mediation? Do you need to complete your Form E and get your financial documents together? Just do that one thing today. You may find my Understanding Divorce Cards useful if you live in England or Wales as you can work through your next steps on a day by day basis over 30 days. 

What can you ask for help with?

How are you at asking for help? Go on, be honest? Have you reached out and asked for any support? Sometimes it can be really useful. Do you have a friend who is really organised and good at collating information who can help you with your financial disclosure? Do you have a friend who will give you no-nonsense emotional advice, who will tell you how it is, but with love? If you need professional help from a lawyer, financial adviser, accountant or divorce coach seek it. Using the services of these professionals can save you time, money, and anxiety.

As a divorce coach, I work with ladies to help them get clear about what it is they want, to understand their finances, to help them find a lawyer and support them emotionally through the process. This helps them feel confident and in control. It helps them to manage their stress and keeps them on track. They find that they call their lawyers less frequently and have much more productive conversations with them when they do. In my forthcoming book How to be a Lady Who Leaves, I share information about the divorce process in England and Wales, how to decide if divorce is really what you want, how to deal with your finances, children and how to take care of yourself throughout the process. How to be a Lady Who Leaves will be published on 29th June 2017.

What can you let go of?

Sometimes when we feel overwhelmed, we get fixated on issues that actually aren’t really that important. So what if your husband lets your children stay up later than you when they are at his overnight? How big a deal is it, really? Look at these issues in the context of everything else you have to deal with in your life right now. Can you let this issue go? Can you let it go just for now? Choosing which ‘battles’ to fight means that you can preserve your energy for the things that really matter. 

What’s the worst that could happen?

If you don’t get all your ‘to do list’ done, ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen? Understanding that you have priorities, and that means sometimes letting somethings go, is part of self care. If you have deadlines imposed by the court process, these are a priority. Failing to comply with these directions could cost you financially. Does it really matter if you didn’t collect the dry cleaning today? Keep perspective and manage your priorities. If there are things that must be done, ask for help. If you just need a night off, who can take the children for you?

So go and do that one thing now…

Divorce and what to do next really depends on your individual circumstances. But by repeatedly asking yourself the above questions, you can keep moving forward and prevent anxiety and overwhelm taking hold. So go on and do that one thing now …

I’m Emma The Divorce Alchemist. I support Ladies who Leave to make smart emotional and financial decisions on divorce. If you don’t have your copy yet, you can download The Smart Woman’s Divorce Guide by completing the box below. Please note, by signing up, you will receive a series of 7 emails over 28 days to accompany the Guide. You will also receive an email from me each Wednesday morning UK time with hints, tips and advice. I sometimes promote my coaching packages too – I’m sure you understand that this is my business :). You may unsubscribe at anytime.