Statistically, divorce fillings spike after December 31st. It’s probably no surprise: couples who make a commitment to push through the holidays often decide that their differences really are irreconcilable once the holiday fervor dies down. No wonder that many divorce attorneys think of the first business day after the New Year’s holiday as “divorce day,” then. If divorce is in the cards for you in the new year, here are six resolutions you should make to ensure the process is as smooth and favorable as possible.
Amicable divorces may be finalized without using attorneys, but if there’s the potential for any contention, having a lawyer on your side can help greatly. Meeting with several divorce attorneys can help you find the one that you are the most comfortable with and who fits your needs the best prior to retaining him or her.
Understanding both what you owe (jointly and as individuals) and what your assets are is key to reaching a divorce settlement. Take full stock of both. Your lawyer can guide you, but it often helps to make a preliminary list of who you believe should be responsible for which debts and who you think is entitled to which assets. Carrying out this step can also help you understand (with help from your lawyer) what to expect in terms of alimony and child support.
It can be tempting to bash your future ex-spouse on social media; don’t. Everything that you post on social media can become a potential issue in your divorce proceedings. You may even want to go back through your existing social media posts and self-edit. If you do need to vent, do it offline with friends and family who can lend a helpful ear.
With the breadth of resources that the Internet provides, there’s no reason for you to be in the dark about the divorce process in your state. It is important to make sure that your sources are reliable; it’s even more harmful to proceed on the basis of incorrect information than with no information. Take the opportunity to write down any questions you have about the process to ask potential lawyers during the consultation process.
On a personal level, divorce can take a toll in the way that few other life events can. You should be careful to step back and take time to take care of yourself. Make an appointment (or several appointments) to speak with a therapist. Many people find starting or continue an exercise routine to be equally therapeutic. Even embarking on a new creative project can help protect your well-being.
Getting mired in the process of getting divorced is very easy. Taking a moment to picture your life after the divorce is finalized can help you get through the most stressful moments. Create a list of goals for yourself; this can be focused on your family, on your career or on hobbies and creative endeavors. Recognize that your life will look different than it did before, but also that you’ve been given an opportunity to create a better life for yourself.