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Divorce: Where to Start

Updated: Mar 22, 2023


It's a difficult and often overwhelming process, but if you're currently considering divorce, you've come to the right place. It's hard enough dealing with life's daily struggles without having to tackle such a major life change. Divorce can present a lot of uncertainty but with the help of an experienced Divorce Coach, you don't have to go through it alone. As a Certified Divorce Coach and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, I am dedicated to helping people get through this difficult transition successfully, I'm here to guide you so you don't feel overwhelmed by what lies ahead.


This blog post will equip you with valuable information about where to start on your divorce journey so that you can feel empowered and move forward confidently. By the end of this blog post, you will have a better understanding of how to start planning for your divorce and what steps to take.


The planning process can seem daunting, but we are here to help. We will cover the following topics:

  • When to start the divorce planning process?

  • What divorce means for you?

  • What to expect during the divorce process?

  • How to deal with the financial impact of divorce?

  • How to deal with feelings of overwhelm or feeling lost as you start a divorce?



Consider: What Does Divorce Mean For You?

Divorce means different things for different people. For some people, it is a relief after years of being in an unhappy marriage. For others, it is a painful experience that they would do anything to avoid. No matter how you feel about your divorce, it is important to remember that you are not alone—millions of people go through divorces every year. And while it may be difficult at times, there is light at the end of the tunnel—you will eventually get through this tough time and come out stronger on the other side. Make a list of how divorce can be a good thing for you and look at it when you are feeling overwhelmed or lost. List all the ways you will be stronger, healthier and yes, happier, once this process is finished.


When to Start the Planning Process

The best time to start planning for your divorce is as soon as you start feeling it may be time to end your marriage. This may come from your own feelings of being unhappy in your marriage or the discovery of your spouse’s actions. It is important to be proactive and not wait for your spouse to initiate the divorce proceedings. There are three main pillars for planning and taking care of yourself: Counseling, Legal Process Knowledge, and Financial Planning.


Set Yourself Up With Good Advice and a Team

The divorce process can be a long and emotional journey. You will need to resolve issues such as division of assets, spousal support and parenting time. Depending on your state, you may have the option of mediation or collaborative divorce which are great client centric ways to go through a divorce. It is a good idea to start with consulting and interviewing lawyers, a mental health counselor and a financial planner. After you have learned about different ways to obtain divorce in your area you can choose the best option for you.


You do not have to decide before you start planning though but do keep in mind how helpful a team will be for the legal, emotional and financial aspects of divorce and start researching.


Gather Information

You should begin gathering information and documents that will be important during the divorce process. This includes financial documents such as tax returns, bank statements, and credit card statements. You should also begin creating a list of assets and debts that need to be divided between you and your spouse. If you have children, you should start thinking about child custody arrangements and visitation schedules. The more prepared you are, the easier the divorce process will be.


What to Expect During the Planning Process

The first step in the planning process is meeting with a lawyer. During this meeting, you will discuss the grounds for your divorce and what you hope to achieve through the divorce proceedings. You will also begin creating a list of goals that need to be met in order for both parties to move on from the marriage. Once you have met with a lawyer, they can help you decide the best way to proceed. While Meditation and Collaborative Divorce will be a slightly different path, they follow a similar path as Litigation. First comes preparing the necessary paperwork for your case. If you decide on Litigation, paperwork will be filed with the court and served on your spouse. Once your spouse has been served, they will have a certain amount of time to respond to the paperwork. After both parties have filed their paperwork with the court, a hearing will be scheduled so that a judge can make a decision on outstanding issues in your case.


Whatever type of divorce you decide you will be making decisions which could include child custody, child support, spousal support, or division of assets and debts. Many divorces are settled outside of a court trial with the help of your lawyer or through Mediation or the Collaborative Divorce Team. If you do go to court, at the hearing, each party will have an opportunity to present their case to the judge. The judge will then make a decision on these outstanding issues and issue a final decree of divorce. Once this decree has been issued, both parties are legally divorced and can move on with their lives.


How To Deal With The Financial Impact Of Divorce

You may be asking, “Will divorce ruin me financially?” Divorce can have a major financial impact on both parties involved. It is important to be prepared for this impact by making sure that you have access to all relevant financial documents. This includes tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, etcetera. Once you have gathered all of these documents, you should sit down with a financial advisor who can help you create a budget and plan for your future finances post-divorce. It is also important to keep in mind that you may need to make some lifestyle changes after your divorce; you may need to downsize your home or sell some assets in order to make ends meet. But no matter what changes need to be made, it is important to remember that you will get through this, and you will be okay.


While going through a divorce can be difficult, you are not alone. Millions of people go through divorces every year. While at times maybe difficult, you can climb this Everest, you will survive this and find empowerment on your journey.


How to deal with feelings of overwhelm or feeling lost as you start a divorce

If you are going through a divorce, it is normal to feel overwhelmed by all the decisions that need to be made. Whether it’s deciding who will keep what, reaching agreements about child custody and parenting plans, or even finding new living arrangements- there can seem like no end in sight. Many people feel a sense of loss as they start this journey - their dreams for the future are changing and their life looks fundamentally different. As a divorce coach, I have helped hundreds of women transitions through these feelings towards resolution and confidence on the other side. To help keep yourself manageable and move forward, it's important to leverage the support of family and friends to receive emotional support and connect with divorce coaches who offer insights on financial matters. Coaches are especially helpful in addressing anxiety around divorce proceedings, providing effective tips on how to approach conversations relating to divorce, such as splitting up assets or custody of children. When facing complex divorce decisions that involve emotions, it's beneficial to have an objective third party on your side who can provide clarity and direction.


More Support and Information

If you want to learn more about the Financial Planning after divorce go to www.financial-sherpa.com/divorce-resources


If you need to learn more about divorce go to www.divorce-sherpa.com


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