For those contemplating a divorce, the decision to move forward can be difficult. Of course, if there is any abusive behavior, the answer should be easy.
But for those caught in limbo, they are uncertain whether or not to move forward with a divorce. It would be easier for someone else to make the decision instead of living with regret of making the wrong decision.
One of the services I offer is a divorce financial review. For individuals contemplating a divorce or in the divorce process, I review their current financials and project their financial needs for their post-divorce life.
This information provides a baseline for my clients to use when working with their family law attorney. It’s crucial when developing the divorce settlement to ensure they are asking for sufficient assets given their lifestyle, how much income they could generate, and retirement needs.
Some individuals I work with haven’t made a decision whether or not to divorce. They are in limbo. What they hope for is for the financial analysis to help them make a decision.
What they don’t realize, is the numbers will not make the decision for them. Even for those who can’t afford a divorce, they decide to move forward with it.
The search for whether or not to divorce can adversely impact all areas of your life. Until you step back from the situation, then you’ll realize how much energy is wasted in that limbo state. It’s best to make a decision and stick to it.
If you decide to stay, then refocus your energy on making the relationship work. It may not be your ideal marriage but if it works for you then that’s all that is important.
If you decide to divorce, then refocus your energy on rebuilding your life. Start by rebuilding your relationship with your friends and family.
Having been through a divorce myself, I understand it’s easier said than done to make a decision. Sometimes you just need time to process what’s going on in the relationship.
If you are contemplating a divorce and your marriage is free from abusive behavior, start by making a decision to work on your marriage. Some couples drift apart over the years and don’t realize it until their kids are out of the house.
Create a list of what you will do to make your marriage work. Make sure to list items you have control over. At this point, refrain from expecting any changes from your spouse. Focus only on what you can control.
Here are some examples to consider:
Stop complaining about your marriage with others, especially friends and family who are pushing you towards a divorce. It may be helpful during this time to limit your interactions with those who focus on the negative traits of your spouse.
Start by focusing on
Identify activities you could do together – play cards, visit a museum, go for a walk, see a movie, try a new restaurant, or look at old photos. Find something that will allow you and your spouse to have a shared experience together – an activity that will create new memories.
Do something nice for your spouse. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Pick something that he/she would appreciate. It could be something simple as watching their favorite program.
Stop yourself from engaging in destructive arguments. Sometimes it’s better not to have the last word.
Rebuilding a relationship is hard work. If you make this attempt, you’ll need to be consistent for several months. And it’s important to recognize that changes in your behavior may or may not improve your relationship. But you won’t know unless you try.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”