Has your husband broken your heart more times than you can count? Perhaps by having an affair, or even numerous affairs? Is he abusive? Or has your marriage been a mistake from the beginning?
If you are at this difficult crossroads in your life, it can be hard to prepare for the inevitable, a divorce.
Besides emotional pain, finances can be a burden, and divorce can get messy if you have children. So how do you prepare for a divorce as a woman? What can you do to make the process easier on yourself, your kids, and your wallet? Keep reading to find out.
1.) Have a good support team
When you finally make the tough decision to end your marriage, get a support team going. Speak to close friends and family members about how you feel and about your divorce.
When you have a strong support network, it can help you to cope better. Going through a divorce alone is devastating on many levels. And it is important to have someone to confide in, whether it’s a close friend, a family member, or even a psychologist.
Sometimes getting professional help from a psychologist can do wonders for your psyche. A psychologist can teach you coping mechanisms that will help you heal and deal with stress and anxiety.
If you are worried that a psychologist is too expensive, you could even join a divorce support group. People experiencing the same levels of pain and difficulty can help you feel as if you are not alone.
There is nothing worse than feeling like the only person on earth going through a painful divorce. By sharing your feelings and experiences, you can gain strength. There are a few online divorce support groups that you can check out or even in-person groups.
Remember that a support team will be there to encourage you on your darkest days. First and foremost, seek emotional help. This will keep you mentally strong! Mental health is just as important as your physical health, especially when going through a divorce.
2.) Plan your finances
Before you decide to get an annulment, look at your financial state. Can you afford to live on your own? If you can’t, is there anything that you can do to raise more of an income? Or could you move in with a friend for a short period of time?
A wise decision would be to see a financial planner to help you come up with a budget. This is especially important if you have debts or if your salary doesn’t cover all your expenses. They could help you develop smart ways to save your money or help you see where you can cut down on spending.
Another smart idea would be to document your spending for 3 – 6 months. Keep every single receipt, whether it’s for a babysitter or for going to the hair salon. You will then know where your money is going, and this will also indicate what you will need to request for spousal support and help prepare you for the realities of taking care of yourself.
3.) Find a great divorce lawyer
When it comes to choosing a divorce lawyer, take your time. Find someone who understands you and your situation.
It’s important to interview a few different lawyers and compare their rates. Ask each of them what their package includes and where your money will be going.
Things to ask your lawyer are:
If you hire a lawyer, take advantage of their expertise. It’s important to ask about anything you are unsure about, such as any legal terms you do not understand. For example, does “Equal shared parental responsibility” mean equal time spent together with the children?
When going through a divorce as a woman, you should be wary of lawyers who want to fight for you and take your ex to court. Going to court is costly, and if you can avoid it, do so. When a lawyer promises you the moon, sun, and stars, run! They are just after your hard-earned money. Choose a realistic lawyer who will do their best to help you, not them.
4.) Use an online divorce service
One tip that many women going through a divorce should consider is using an online divorce service. These companies prepare your divorce documents at a fraction of the cost of an attorney. These services are affordable and easy to use. CompleteCase.com, for example, offers packages starting from as little as $299. This is an excellent option if you are going to have an uncontested divorce and can’t afford a lawyer.
5.) Save, Save, Save
While you prepare for your divorce, save as much money as you can. Build up savings in a separate account for divorce-related costs. You can also use this nest egg for future expenses that you might incur.
How can you save money? Put a little bit of money away every month. This can be from your salary, or if you are a stay at home mom, try to save money that you have leftover from buying groceries or from family members. You could even make homemade goods to sell for an extra income.
6.) Separate your credit cards
It’s important to get your own credit card. Close any joint accounts that you and your husband might share. This is crucial because you don’t want your husband to run up credit card debt and leave you with the payments.
By getting your own credit account, you will also be able to get your own credit rating, which will help you with future credit purchases. If your credit score isn’t great, consider hiring a professional who can advise you on how to get a better credit rating.
7.) Change your will
If divorce is imminent, make sure that you change your will. You can limit the amount of money that your spouse will receive, if any at all. A lawyer can help you redraft your will so that it suits your new circumstances.
8.) Be careful of social media
Do not leave an e-trail when it comes to your divorce. Don’t post anything on social media that your husband’s lawyers can use against you. Be careful of what you send via email as well. It might be a good idea to get a new email address that you can use specifically for your divorce.
Whatever you post on the internet never goes away, so be careful not to post anything that could affect your case.
9.) Support your children
Divorce affects children negatively. If you have children, they are going to need you now more than ever. You need to prepare yourself for their intense emotions. Your children might react angrily, be depressed, or not react at all.
Your children might be angry with you and not understand why you and your spouse are getting a divorce.
You will need to be calm and patient. It takes time to prepare yourself for how they will react. Read up as much as you can on how divorce affects children and what you can do to help them. If your children seem to be struggling emotionally, seeking professional assistance can help them cope with strong emotions.
10.) Remember that the sun will shine again
Divorce might seem like a never-ending loop of anxiety and heartache. But eventually, the pain does subside, and it will get easier. Preparing for your divorce will help you weather the storms. Once you come out of the victorious cycle onto the other side, you will be relieved that you laid down the groundwork for a happy future.