First things first The Emotional aspect of the Money
Regardless of where you are at with your Separation and Divorce, the first thing you need to gain, is control of your EMOTIONs. You need to make sure you are WELL. You need to be realistic. Did you know it is a scientific fact* that when emotion is high, intelligence is low? You will gain nothing if you cannot control your emotion. We don’t mean suppress it and pretend it does not exist because it does, but you need to deal with it sooner than later. You may need professional help. Please do not be afraid to reach out for support.
Lighting the Way
Mary Kay Blakely, a journalist and mom once wrote “Divorce is the psychological equivalent of a triple coronary bypass.” Having had the experience of my own divorce, I understand firsthand the roller coaster ride of emotions one goes through.
So many decisions need to be made in the midst of all the emotions. Emotions cloud clarity. Statistics say that getting a divorce or buying a home are in the top 5 most stressful things one can do in an entire lifetime. Both are often happening simultaneously in a divorce situation, it is critical that you are surrounded by people and professionals that have YOUR best interest in mind and provide clarity during this time.
The limbo is a high-spirited dance game of flexibility and balance. While Caribbean music is being played, limbo participants bend their bodies backwards and sideways in an attempt to navigate themselves under a horizontal bar or stick without falling. There are no specific rules governing how dancers may manoeuvre under the bar, but if they hit their head on the limbo bar or lose their balance and fall down, they are out of the game. Life can feel a bit like this – especially during a divorce or separation.
Obviously it is easy to keep things in perspective when the limbo bar of life is high in the air—life coasting along smoothly and without hazard, not too many decisions to be made, minimal demands, no one agitating or making us crazy. But what happens when the bar gets lower and requires more tactical maneuvering than we’re used to; when our effortless existence and well-laid plans start to go awry?
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness
Reality Check: Divorce is nothing like it appears on TV or on the internet. Yet, countless people believe they can get great advice from a friend or through their reliable source guide: Google – during such a life altering event.
Unfortunately, trouble in a marriage (or the dissolution of one) is rarely solved by involving our friends advice (who we hope will tell us that we are right and our spouse is woefully misguided) or downloading that Divorce App that will we believe will save us tons of time and money.
In Napoleon Hill’s classic “Think and Grow Rich,” he states that one of the most common traits of successful people is the ability to “seek the advice of experts” when times are tough. When a relationship challenge occurs, so many people try to unsuccessfully “do it on their own.”
If you had to go to court for a major lawsuit or for a legal situation that could affect the rest of your life, would you represent yourself in court? As the old saying goes, a man who “represents himself has a fool for a lawyer.”
The same can be said when you reach a crisis in a relationship. Being independent is a sign of strength, but only to a certain point. Too much independence can be more damaging than empowering. And leaning heavily on your closest friends for emotional support will only cause them to feel awkward around you.
Employing expert support in times of crisis is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of intelligence. When we are standing hip deep in a problem, it is rare for us to be able to view it objectively after all.
Here’s help navigating the financial dangers of divorce so you’ll reach safe harbour: a financially sound future.
By Diana Shepherd, CDFA™
While you were married, you and your spouse were co-owners of the “business” called your marriage. Like any business owners, you accumulated both assets and liabilities. Maybe you bought a house, a car, a cottage, some furniture. One or both of you earned income, maybe put some money aside for retirement. In addition to mortgage and car loans, you might also have accumulated some credit-card debt. Maybe one or both of you had a bad year – you got sick, or your spouse was laid off – and your financial troubles were the final straw in an already troubled relationship.
Business Owners…. Take Heed...
Sad but true, not everyone comes out equal in a Separation or Divorce. WHY? We don’t know what we don’t know!! and we don't do what we should do.
As humans, we procrastinate and think "That will never happen to ME!" As a business owner, have you taken the time to do a Shareholders Agreement?, Buy-Sell or even a simple contract between you and your partner/spouse? Yes even if they are not involved in the business. If not, WHY NOT?
Saying Goodbye to the Emotional Baggage
Divorce or the end of a long term relationship can be a traumatic experience, whether you are the initiator or the one being left. Even though we may have gone through a lot of emotional turmoil on the way to the break up, that doesn’t mean we are by any means complete emotionally just because we have left the relationship. We carry with us the baggage of unresolved issues. If we don’t find a way to unpack those bags and sort through what we want to keep and what we need to discard they will adversely affect us in the future, whether we get into a new relationship or not.
The quicker you can achieve these things, the sooner you can start your new life. Long wranglings over who gets the cat or that cheap dining set are debilitating – and costly. The reality of starting over means you are unlikely to maintain the same standard of living you had before the divorce. It’s far better to understand going into the legal process what the likely outcomes are right from the start so you can make informed choices along the way.