January is “divorce month” because of holiday parties, family gatherings, extravagant spending, affairs, and critical self-assessment. No matter why you resolve to get a divorce, there are things you must do to make your resolution real.
During January, people think about improving their life, losing weight, stopping smoking or drinking, and avoiding another miserable year with their spouse. Also, the Christmas bonus comes just in time to hire a collaborative divorce attorney.
Attend Your Feelings.
If you’re unhappy, don’t presume you’re just tired. If you don’t like your partner, admit it and decide what’s next. Explore your emotions honestly and ask yourself if you want to fix your marriage or get out. Only you know what’s the right choice.
Deciding to Divorce.
Ask yourself the following questions: Do you hate your spouse? Are you willing to work on your marriage? Do you settle things when you fight? Can you forgive and forget? Do you listen to each other? Are you working toward the same goals? Do you enjoy sex together? If most answers are “no,” you probably need a divorce.
Pros and Cons of Divorce.
If you are staying married out of fear or remaining in an emotionally abusive relationship because you have low self-confidence and are dependent, or if you can’t share feelings, your marriage is in trouble. If your marriage is based on fear, financial dependence, or loneliness, you probably need a divorce. Be realistic about your feelings when considering divorce.
Causes of Divorce.
Different core values, substance abuse, physical abuse, and infidelity are signs of a failing marriage. Some couples find themselves in a sexless marriage that leaves one spouse frustrated and unhappy. If one of you wants to save money while the other wants to spend, these differences can create serious marital problems. Don’t be imprisoned by your fears and don’t spend your time trying to please others—if you are unhappy, think about getting out.
After Resolving to Divorce.
Once you decided to divorce, collect copies of all your financial records and find a qualified collaborative attorney who can advise you about your divorce. Ask family, friends, financial advisors, or other attorneys for recommendations. Another excellent source of information is the Collaborative Divorce Texas website.
Search for Hidden Assets.
Checking for hidden assets is time consuming because you need to review credit statements, checking accounts, saving accounts, and brokerage statements. Look for unusual purchases and unexplained charges. If you find unexpected purchases, that doesn’t necessarily mean your spouse is hiding assets. But you need to understand what’s happening with your finances.
Make a Budget.
Estimate what you will spend on housing, food, clothing, transportation, entertainment, vacations, medical and dental costs, school expenses, gifts, insurance, taxes, professional fees and miscellaneous items after the divorce. Then, estimate what your personal income will be when you are divorced and living separately. Finally, balance your income and expenses to create a workable budget for your new life.
Establish Your Own Credit.
If you don’t have a separate credit card in your name, apply for one. Discuss with your attorney whether you should ask financial institutions to protect your assets by requiring two signatures for all significant purchases or withdrawals. This simple tactic can give you both peace of mind.
Set Healthy Boundaries.
If you accommodated your spouse during the marriage, stop being a “pleaser.” It may have been easier to say nothing to avoid a fight, but that’s over. Resolve to stand up for yourself and set healthy boundaries to maintain your self-respect. Make a list of the abuses you tolerated in the past and resolve to stop being a victim.
Focus on Being Grateful.
Every day think about positive things that happened and be grateful for them. That’s not easy when you’ve had a hard day, but try to stay positive and you will be amazed how much better you feel. Finally, forgive your spouse, and yourself, for the failed relationship and move on.
Few people divorce during the holidays, so January is “divorce month.” It’s important to know how you feel about your spouse. Admit your negative feelings and decide what to do about them. Review the pluses and minuses of your marriage. The many causes of divorce include abuse, money problems, infidelity, and sexual rejection. Once you decide that resolution is divorce, collect copies of all your financial records and find a qualified collaborative attorney. Look for hidden assets, establish a budget, and get a separate credit card. Finally, set healthy boundaries and don’t be a “pleaser.”
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