Almost every relationship starts with that giddy period of falling in love, imagining a life together with your spouse, maybe a couple of kids and even a dog or parakeet to round out the happy loving family. What most people do not imagine, is what happens if that love, respect and admiration morphs into something unlike a fairytale and even spirals into dysfunction. If you find yourself here, there are some things to think about before you make the irreversible decision to divorce.
The best place to start; with the man (or woman) in the mirror. Have you done everything you can to make it last forever? Certainly, your wedding vows were not meant to be taken lightly. So in order to avoid deep regret, make sure to do everything you know how to do to save your marriage. Have you been brutally honest with yourself about how you feel? Have you been brutally honest with your spouse about what you are thinking, what you need and how you feel? Is it really fair to expect them to know where you are? Have you insisted that you both try marriage counseling? Did you give 100% of yourself to the process?
If you do feel that you’ve done all that you can and the relationship is irretrievably broken, the next step is toward the future. Are you ready for a drop in your standard of living? Do you understand that the same money that supported one household will now have to stretch to support two separate households and you will BOTH have a reduced standard of living? This is the point where you carefully consider what you will be able to afford. This is also a good time to consider meeting with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) like me to evaluate your options and look at what potential settlements would look like.
If you are not 100% clear on your financial situation, now’s the time to get prepared. Start to gather your financial documents so that you can be fully informed about your household finances. If you have no idea how much money you’ll have or how much it will cost you to live, it will be impossible to plan for the next phase of your life. A CDFA® can be a very valuable resource for you at this time.
Check your support network. This is one of the most difficult things that a person can face in life, and you can count on the process to last at least 6 months to a year. Be sure to surround yourself with people that will love and support you without being judgemental. You’ll need all the support you can get. Take a deep breath and take one step at a time. You WILL get through this.