10 Realistic Expectations When Divorcing
Divorcing isn’t easy and there is a lot of sweat and tears wasted before you can experience the ‘silver lining’. Before you start, shift your divorce expectations. Having realistic expectations of the challenges that you are likely to face will help you to sail through the divorce process with greater ease.
Here are a few commonly found truths to divorce:
- Divorcing will be expensive and a longer process than expected. When people ask “how long is a piece of string?” you could apply the same analogy to your divorce. You aren’t able to control your ex-spouse, can’t force them to see your perspective or compromise and until a final decision is made (however that may be) your divorce and settlements continue.
- Your financial situation is likely to get worse. Separating means running two homes on the same joint income. For many couples or families, this isn’t easy or viable and thus their finances take a huge hit. Structuring yourself to plan and stick to a budget will be your best asset.
- Disorganisation, poor preparedness often equals unfavourable outcomes. If you aren’t organised with your documentation and filing or if you aren’t prepared to assist your lawyer and make their job easier, you will undoubtedly either spend far more money on legal fees or the judge may rule in the other party’s favour.
- Your relationship with the ex will get harder. A judge once said to me “If you don’t hate each other now, you will if this goes to hearing”. Sometimes divorce brings out the worst in people – Your ex-spouse may become more difficult and you will have to show more restraint, control and tolerance.
- Life will be busier. Juggling children, divorce, work and home is hard. Expect to be exhausted and drained. Ensure you prioritise re-energising and investing in you.
- You will have many bad days and challenging moments. Even if you have family and friends to support you, you will still be challenged and have difficult days. Sometimes you will wish you were supported by your ex-spouse or family. Divorce will teach you resilience and how to find your inner strength.
- You will think your divorce is the most important case. Every client that your lawyer has feels the same way. Your case is only the most important one or two days prior to a hearing.
- Inconsistency costs your more money. Be steadfast with your proposed requests, settlements and agreement. If you change the ‘goal posts’ regularly, it will cost you more money and makes your case harder for the lawyers to stay on the same page as you.
- Don’t expect your ex-spouse to play by the rules. It is too easy to be cunning, manipulative and employ dirty tricks. However, knowing that your ex-spouse is unlikely to play fair, make sure you uphold the truth with dignity. When the truth is on your side,
- Friends and family may encourage you to take any settlement to make the arguments go away. The challenge is that if the financial or parenting arrangements doesn’t suit you, your ex-spouse and/or the children, then there will be more angst, frustration and hurt. You don’t want to live with regrets and you certainly don’t want to be reliant on your ex-spouse forever.
- You will learn new things about your ex-spouse (which you may not like). When you thought you knew someone really well, sometimes divorcing brings new information to light and it will make you wonder who you married or chose to spend your life with.
Divorcing isn’t easy. However, it can be the most liberating, empowering and best personal development experience you can ever encounter. You will learn so much about who you are as a person and what drives you. Don’t let your divorce define who you are, you define your divorce and make it work for you.