If you and your spouse have called a temporary truce on your plans for divorce until the holidays are over, there’s no reason the time has to be wasted.
What can you do to move things along even if you aren’t heading to the attorney’s office just yet?
1. Consider your options
These days, no-fault divorce means that you can get unhitched without having to blame anyone. That may make it easier to move forward in a more neutral, co-operative fashion.
Consider a collaborative divorce or using mediation if you need to work out a few issues — instead of heading for the court and a judge. You’ll retain more control over the outcome and may be able to preserve a better relationship with your ex-spouse. That could benefit you greatly if you still have minor children together.
2. Get all your records together
Don’t forget that property division requires a thorough understanding of all your assets and your debts. You need to make sure that you have copies of your latest bank statements, credit card bills, medical bills and utilities — as well as any other financial records.
Look for insurance policies, stocks, bonds, 401K savings plans and retirement funds. If you have any art or jewelry of significant value, pull out the appraisals or get the pieces appraised now.
3. Invest in yourself
Now is a great time to get a little therapy so that you can talk over all of the emotions that might be piling up inside. Getting a therapist now may keep you from letting anger build up and boil over at the wrong moment (like in court).
Maybe more importantly, therapy can often help you define your goals. You can figure out what you do and don’t expect the divorce to accomplish and come to have realistic expectations about the experience.
4. Get a financial adviser.
Tax issues and end-of-year bonuses might make January a bad time to actually file for divorce. You may want to ultimately push actually filing off for a month or more until you get your financial issues in order. A financial adviser can help you understand your options.
The only way this time over the holidays will be wasted is if you choose to do nothing at all about your divorce — including address your own feelings — until January comes.
Source: www.equitablemediation.com, “Some Useful Tips for How to Prepare for Divorce Financially and Emotionally,” Cheryl Dillon, CPC, accessed Dec. 8, 2017