I had an amicable, mediated divorce. We set out with the intention of sparing the kids any pain. My ex-husband tried to be very reasonable right from the start. In hindsight, knowing what I know now as a Divorce Coach and Advisor, there was definitely some information I wish I’d known.
On the Divorce Process:
- Mediation doesn’t mean you don’t need to educate yourself on what you’re entitled to. I took for granted that our mediators (yes – they came in a pair and charged accordingly) would advise me as to what I should be asking for.
- Don’t wait until your mediation is final to hire a consulting attorney. Have someone who advises you along the way. See #1.
- Never assume the math will work. Do your own budgeting for your post-divorce life. Even though I understood what I was getting, I really hadn’t done enough to figure out what things would actually cost. I made way too many assumptions.
- Hire a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst to help you figure out the math. They offer hourly advice. The person that manages and invests your money is not going to really go the extra mile to know what you spend on clothes and how the tax consequences may affect you.
- Detail all the possible expenses and fees that may come up post-divorce and who will be paying for them – legal fees, transfer fees, administrative fees etc. I had quite a few unexpected expenses I had to pay.
- Adult kids don’t take it any better than younger kids, they just have different issues. Plan for who stays where when they come home from college and where the holidays will be celebrated. We winged it, I lost.
- Adult kids who are still at home need to be given guidelines even if there’s no custody arrangement. I moved out of the family home and assumed my daughter would stay with me. I was wrong.
- Keep trying-no matter how angry your kids are, eventually, they’ll come around. After we told the kids (18 and 22), one of our children wouldn’t speak to us for 2 weeks. A few years later we are both closer with our kids than we were before.
- It’s a roller coaster. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out and life has found its new normal, something will trigger you and may land you back on the sofa with a box of tissues and Netflix. The good news, it won’t last that long this time and those episodes will be fewer and far between.
At the end of the day, I’m now over the biggest hurdles. I have a terrific life and get to help people like you avoid the many pitfalls along the way. Divorce is hard, lonely and long. Make sure you get the right support and advice.