Most people do not decide to divorce or separate from their partner overnight. It often takes many months, and even years, of thought before one or both people decide to put an official end to a relationship. As a productivity specialist and someone who has experienced divorce first-hand I know how crucial being organized in your thoughts and actions can be for getting through the divorce process. Here are a few of the most important steps to take once you have finally decided that a divorce is on the table.
This may seem strange but using positive enforcement is key to protecting your mental health through this process. Getting a divorce is a huge, life-altering event. There is a lot of guilt and shame surrounding divorce and separation and not enough people talk about how brave it is. Often ending the relationship is the best decision for you and your partner’s well-being. Rather than wallow in self pity and guilt, say to yourself “good for me.” You are taking steps to address your needs and that deserves to be congratulated.
Get a good divorce lawyer
Make sure you hire a good lawyer who you trust and knows all the ins and outs of the divorce process. It is no secret that divorce is expensive, and a lot of the cost is wrapped up in legal fees. That being said, don’t scrape the bottom of the barrel for the cheapest lawyer you can find. Having a good lawyer who knows what they’re doing will save you time and money in the long run. Once you have found your guy (or girl), trust them. Don’t listen to anyone’s advice except theirs. Friends and family members may weigh in with their thoughts but in the end your lawyer should be your most trusted advisor throughout the divorce process.
Take care of the basics
Get your house in order. Make sure you have groceries. Clean out your closet. Do anything that will make you feel a little more in control of your life. Life will feel turbulent throughout the divorce so anything that makes you feel more grounded will be a godsend. You’d be surprised how much a tidy home can affect your mood and general well being. Being organized with the basics will help you keep on top of everything you have to do surrounding the divorce or separation.
Write it down
Write down everything that has happened in the marriage since day one. This can be an extremely onerous and emotional task, but it can be very useful throughout the divorce process for custodial or financial reasons. Writing can also be quite cathartic and help solidify your decision to end the partnership.
Make a plan
What do you want your life to look like post divorce? Are there things that you have always wanted to do? Create a vision for your future that excites and motivates you. Going through separation or divorce is hard and it is easy to get bogged down in the muck when you are waist deep in paperwork and legal fees. This is why it is so important to visualize what you want and remind yourself why you are wading through the tough stuff right now. It can be something as simple as taking a course you’ve always wanted to take or as big as starting your own business. The sky is the limit as you reimagine your future and the divorce is just something you have to get through to get there.