New Year’s Resolutions During Divorce

On behalf of Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

While many people start the new year with goals of losing weight, exercising more or eating better, those who are going through divorce may benefit from slightly different resolutions. Weight loss and health are still important, but for people who are separated or in the midst of divorce, resolutions that help them deal with the challenges of divorce. The following resolutions can really make a difference for people in divorce:

Take charge of your finances

Forbes advises readers to keep careful track of their cash outflow. Often, little things, like magazine subscriptions, can be overlooked and lead people to underestimate the amount of money they will need. This is especially important in a divorce because you will be required to present your expected living costs to a judge to determine how much spousal support you may need to receive or give.

You will also want to have a copy of financial records. While bank statements are an obvious option, some of the more easily forgotten accounts include:

  • Retirement accounts
  • Stock options
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Patents
  • Trademarks

Keeping track of these alternate forms of income can make a big difference in the results of your divorce proceedings. Bringing them when you meet with your attorney can also help you save time and money.

Fidelity reports that women were not involved in financial decisions in up to 25 percent of marriages, meaning they may not be privy to all the available financial accounts. If you find yourself in this situation, make it a point to improve your financial literacy and become aware of the current state of your spouse’s finances.

Manage your emotions

While it is easy to hold a grudge, letting go of the past and forgiving will be better for you, your ex and any children you have. Hanging on to hurt feelings does not do you any good and can keep you from moving on, so prepare now to calm your emotions by forgiving all parties involved and learning to let go.

Health goals

While getting in shape may not be at the top of your priorities right now, exercise can help you battle the emotional drawbacks of divorce. Working out generates endorphins and can help you avoid getting caught up in negative feelings and can help lift you out of depression.

If you are preparing to divorce, adopting some of these New Year’s resolutions can make the entire process easier on everyone involved. Take control of your finances, improve your physical and emotional health and contact an experienced attorney to start your new life in the new year.