New Year’s Resolutions for Those Facing Divorce
Each year, divorce rates go up significantly in the month of January. This is partially because some couples who have decided to dissolve their marriages choose to wait before filing until the holidays are over. In other cases, the stress of the holidays pushes an already troubled marriage to the point where spouses decide it is time to end it. Whatever the reason, the new year can provide an opportunity to finally put an end to a troubling marriage and gain a fresh start.
If you and your spouse have tried everything to repair your relationship and have come to the conclusion that divorce is your only option, starting that process at the beginning of a new year can help focus your mental energy on working towards a fresh start. Keep in mind it will be a bumpy road ahead with a lot of challenges to deal with, so it is important to be mentally ready for the journey. You should also know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and if you are certain that divorcing is the right decision, then you can be sure you will be better off once the process is over.
To get ready to start your divorce, it is important to be organized and have all of your ducks in a row. Whatever your opinion is on the value of New Year’s resolutions, this is a year when you want to make some that you actually plan to keep.
Here are 7 New Year’s resolutions for divorcing spouses:
- Get your Finances in Order
Getting a divorce will involve numerous financial changes. First of all, you will need to be ready to handle all the expenses you will incur. Some examples include attorney fees, filing fees, and moving costs (if you are the one that is moving out). You will also need to tighten your budget as you may be looking at the prospect of maintaining your household on only your own income.
To start preparing for the financial challenges that lie ahead, you should open some separate accounts that are in your name only, if you have not done so already. Make sure you have a bank or credit union account that you are the sole owner of and use this account to start putting away money to help fund the divorce and for emergencies. You should also have one or two credit cards that you have available to help get you through the divorce process.
Finally, depending on your relationship with your spouse and his/her temperament, you may need to prepare for some messy financial conflicts. For example, an angry or spiteful spouse may try to run up bills on your joint credit card accounts. If this is a concern, called the banks that issued these cards and have the accounts closed, frozen, or your name removed from them.
- Be a Cooperative Co-Parent
Although you may not get along well with your spouse right now, do your best to keep your kids from getting caught up in this conflict. Your children should be reassured that the divorce is not in any way their fault, and you should make an effort to maintain as amicable a relationship as possible with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, at least when it comes to your kids. This does not mean you need to be a pushover. It does mean, though, that you should allow some flexibility and try to be accommodating when it is reasonable to do so. Bottom line: when it comes to your children, look at each decision from the standpoint of whether or not it is in their best interests, regardless of whether or not it would be pleasing to you personally.
- Put the Issues from Your Marriage Behind You
There is no doubt you probably have ongoing disputes with your spouse as well as hurt feelings and strong emotions about various issues that caused the breakup. It is healthy to grieve over these issues for a while, just like you would if someone close to you passed away. But once you are done grieving, it is time to work to put this behind you. Otherwise, you will have a harder time beginning the next chapter of your life. You may have been mistreated or worse, and you may have every right to be mad at or even hate your spouse. But carrying around anger and hatred will not do you any good in the long run. The best approach for your mental and emotional health is to let it go the best you can and look forward to what’s next.
- Take Care of Your Physical Health
The emotional strain of the divorce process can take a toll on you physically as well. To make matters worse, those who are going through this process tend to neglect their health. Knowing what the tendency is, resolve to do the opposite. If you do not already exercise regularly, now is the time to start doing it. A healthy diet and regular exercise will do wonders for your self-esteem and can help minimize feelings of anxiety or depression.
- Obtain the Emotional Support You Need
As humans, we need to lean on each other for support and encouragement, especially when we are going through tough times. As you enter this season of your life, surround yourself with people who will lift you up rather than those who will drag you down. Reach out to trusted family members and friends for emotional support, and do not be afraid to see a therapist or join a local support group if you believe this may help you.
- Be Careful What You Say about your Pending Divorce
This is becoming more of an issue in our current age of social media. For some divorcing spouses, the process becomes an open book for all of their social media connections to see. There have even been instances when people post copies of police reports, court orders, and other documents that should stay between the parties involved. It is important to understand that all of your electronic communication – whether it be voicemails, text messages, emails, or social media posts – is discoverable during a divorce proceeding. This means that your spouse’s legal counsel can (and probably will) use anything you say electronically against you. With this in mind, be very cautious about your communications, what you say to your spouse, and how you talk to others about your divorce.
- Work with a Skilled and Personable Divorce Attorney
If you are considering a divorce, you will need a skilled advocate in your corner who will be there to provide sound legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. Choose a lawyer who has experience, and preferably one who focuses primarily (or better yet, exclusively) on family law. There are a lot of complicated issues that can come up during a marriage dissolution, and you need an attorney who works in the local family courts day in and day out and has the proven ability to confidently navigate even the most complex divorce proceedings.
If you are in the upstate of South Carolina, we invite you to contact the Cate Law Firm for an initial consultation to discuss your case. Call our office today at 864-251-5855 or message us online to speak with a member of our legal team. We look forward to serving you!