Life has a funny way of turning down paths you never in a million years envisioned you would have gone down. When I said “I Do,” I, like many others, believed it would be forever. Well, it didn’t last forever, and, without going into details, my marriage ended in a divorce. Since my divorce, I have become that person … you know, the one everyone goes to when they have a close friend or family member going through a divorce or considering one themselves. Having gone through it, and now talking to others about how they went through it, I’ve learned a lot. I know when all situation started, I turned to the Internet and Pinterest to read advice, so I figured why not share what I learned and have had shared with me. (This post contains affiliate links that will earn the site a small commission)
Advice For When You’re Going Through A Divorce:
Protect yourself and your children- This may seem very weird, but for me, as a mother, my kids were my priority from day one. There are several ways to do this and it will vary from situation to situation.
- Making sure you are in a safe place is number one. Reach out for help if necessary.
- Have a close friend or family member hold important documents, papers, money, etc.
- Get a lawyer for advice.
- Decide what you want from the divorce and what is best for your kids.
- Separate your finances to save up.
Living arrangements- By now someone may have moved out, but you need to decide who, if anyone, is keeping the home and how that will work. Figure out if you need to break a lease, start to look for a new place, etc. While tensions run high during this time, you don’t want to be blindsided by what your spouse decides they want. Be sure to cover utilities that are in both names as well. This can be tricky to do since some are based off the title of the house.
When/what to tell others- I have not told many people what lead to the fallout of my marriage, including a lot of families. This can make it hard in some ways because, without knowing the full story, they may see it as your fault, you didn’t try hard enough, etc. In some case cases, keeping the reason secret may be what’s best for the kids. That way, no one can badmouth your ex in front of them. Remember: You are divorcing their parent, it’s not them divorcing the parent. Trust me, I have been floored by what others have said to me in regards to getting a divorce. You almost have to develop a thick skin to people.
Visitation schedules for children- Custody is often a huge hold up in divorce cases. Be sure to hold your ground for your holidays, a fair schedule, and remember it’s important to do what’s best for the kids in the long run. Have a talk about what ifs in the case of child care, holidays, etc. if things are able to be followed through.
The process for your divorce- It is helpful for both parties if this part is easily to agree upon. I was amazed at how many different ways you can divorce. You can self-file everything, use mediation, use separate attorneys, or have one party have an attorney and both work on the terms together. It is possible to avoid a divorce trial if both parties are able to work together.
- Splitting property and debt- This, with child custody, is often a hold up for divorces being finalized. Open communication is key, but if that’s not possible, a judge can do the awarding. Everything gets listed out: TV’s, appliances, cars, houses, furniture, jewelry, credit cards, loans, mortgages, student loans, etc.
- Support alimony/child/spousal- In most cases, this is set forth by a formula your attorney or the judge can use to set forth who gets what and how much. And spousal support can vary greatly by state.
- Insurance- Have the conversation of who will carry kids on health insurance, car insurance policies, life insurance policies, etc. A lot of this will be spelled out in your divorcee decree, but it is important to talk about during the stages of divorce.
Laws about divorce differ greatly by state. I know I was shocked to learn that after we filed, we still has a 90-day waiting period before a judge would sign off on the divorce. There will be a lot of times that you will feel like your life is in limbo, but it is important to keep on trucking and hold your head up high.
Have you been through a divorce? Do you have any advice for anyone facing one?