Is divorce the right choice? by Karen Bashford
The Four Stages of Divorce
There are 4 stages to a divorce – the initial decision of should I or shouldn’t I?
Telling your partner…
Sorting out the practicalities of a divorce…
And finally the divorce itself.
Each stage has an impact on you both emotionally – and financially. All four stages can be supported by a qualified coach to make each stage less challenging and to ensure that you make the right decisions.
First stage of divorce
What triggers the first stage of the divorce is dependent upon the circumstances leading up to that point. However there will be a trigger point, that final inaction or act that leads to you thinking “I have had enough”.
You make a snap decision, but then you question yourself whether it is right or not. Even your imagination tries to help you by bring up how life could be in the future.
Don’t confuse the prospect of leading a different life as the answer to your problem. You may find you are jumping out of the ‘frying pan into the fire.’
Divorce has an effect on so many aspects of your life.
- Your confidence
- Your finances
- Your relationships
- Your ability to enjoy life.
Making a decision when you are highly emotional is not necessarily the right one as you are unlikely to be realistic in your assessment of what your future life would be like. You could also come to realise that you are reacting to a situation and do not really want to divorce, but simply to have a chance to express your dissatisfaction.
Obviously if it is an abusive relationship, the sooner you get out the better.
The emotional and financial cost of a divorce
It is wise to take a step back before asking for the divorce as it gives you breathing space to review your options fully. Whilst a friend or family member may be able to assist, they will have an emotional attachment to the outcome and are not necessarily the ideal person to support you in your decision making.
To gain clarity both emotionally and financially, work with a coach to define the underlying issues, and determine what you really want. A coach can also continue to support you to achieve your desired outcome.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to undo the damage asking for a divorce causes, so being aware that 70% of women experience financial hardship after divorce, may encourage you to step back from the brink for a while. Whilst it may appear to imply that your financial wellbeing is more important than your happiness, that is not the case.
A reality check
Why do you want to divorce? This is a good question to ask, as it allows you to look at the state of your relationship and whether there is any possibility to change – with help – how you feel and react in your relationship. Your shift in perception may actually provide the stimulus for your relationship to improve.
What is any potential settlement likely to be? How will you fare financially? This will at least give you an idea of the kind of life you can expect after your divorce. Don’t assume you are going to get half of everything – your partner, like you, will want to ensure the impact of the divorce on them is kept to the minimum.
Assessing things such as where you will live, the costs involved in buying/renting. Living costs etc. permits you to ascertain if you can afford to live alone or whether you will need to consider other living arrangements, such as sharing. You may have to move away from all those you know to be able to afford your own place to rent or buy.
If you are working, are you earning enough to cover your living expenses and give you a life? If not, what can you do about earning more? Don’t forget you have to provide for your retirement years as well.
Splitting means deciding who has what in terms of furniture, household goods and other possessions. You could find you need to dip into your settlement to replace items.
Then there is the cost of the divorce itself. Hopefully any solicitor’s cost can be kept to the minimum, if not how will you pay for their services? It may well eat into any money you have.
The above are just a few of the things you need to consider. Once you have reviewed your options, you are in a better place to decide what is best for you. You will have given yourself time to reflect, to be confident you have made the right decision – whether it is to work at saving your marriage, or to ask for a divorce.
Regardless of your decision once made commit to making it happen by focusing on the end result. Then you can get on with the rest of your life.
Karen Bashford is a Money Mindset and Abundance Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, Inner Child Connector and Financial Educator. Karen works with women to explore and redefine the limiting beliefs they have about themselves empowering them to find their own path to a life of health, wealth and happiness. Karen is an expert coach on the Alternative Divorce Directory and her website is at www.karenbashford.com