1. Consult with an Attorney. The old adage Knowledge is Power is especially true in divorce. Understanding your rights, risks, and best course of action will help reduce your stress and ensure that you do not make costly mistakes.
2. Be Knowledgeable. Gather information regarding assets, debts, and household expenses so you are able to formulate a financial plan. Pay attention to financial accounts. Has money been withdrawn? Transferred? Are statements missing? This may indicate mail has been rerouted. Are there any new statements from other banking institutions of which you were unaware? You want to know what assets exist and what debts you may be ultimately responsible for.
3. Be Kind to Yourself. You cannot control every factor in your divorce – including your spouse’s behavior – but you can control you and how you allow all things to affect you. Divorce is often a huge life transition. It can be an ugly thing … but it doesn’t have to be. Remain civil. And if you can’t remain civil, remain silent. Your goal should be to protect yourself financially and emotionally. Work on letting go of any anger and resentment. Seek therapy. Don’t isolate yourself from friends and family although who is defined in those categories may change. Attend to your spiritual life. Focus on yourself and your children if you have them. You are not a failure and are not defined by your divorce. You will learn that in a divorce lies the very real opportunity to redefine yourself and your life.