In my business, January is known as the “divorce” month. Many people wait until after the holidays before they begin pursuing a divorce.

When they contact me, I work with them to assess their finances and develop a solution for splitting their assets (e.g., home, vehicles, art, jewelry, financial accounts, and other items with monetary value). They take this information and work with their family law attorney to negotiate a divorce settlement.

For those who may be contemplating a divorce, pause and reflect on what your life would be like after your divorce. Of course, if there is verbal or physical abuse you don’t need to pause. You need to take action.

But for many, we tend to believe “the grass is greener on the other side.” Unfortunately, it’s easy for us to be clouded by opinions from others. It’s also easy to feel your relationship is inadequate when you see others post “happy relationship” photos on social media.

Begin by recognizing that social media posts have been edited to show only the good. It’s not like reality television. People don’t post their arguments. One friend described social media as a marketing campaign for yourself – you show the good parts of your life.

What will your life be like if you were divorced?

If you think you’ll be able to do more things, then list out those items.

Would you go to the movies more often?

Would you go back to school?

Would you get together with your friends more often?

Once you have your list, go through it and ask yourself what’s stopping you from doing these items now? Is there a way to change your obligations to have more time to do the things you want to do? Have you talked to your spouse about what you want? Some people are surprised that their spouse is willing to work with them so they can be happier.

Another item to think about is if you were divorced, you would have less money to do things. The amount of money you have now will need to support two households instead of one household. This financial reality tends to be a deal breaker for many.

When contemplating a divorce, start by focusing on why you want a divorce. How do you see your post-divorce life? If it’s doing more things, then talk with your spouse to see if there is a way to make it happen. Tune out the noise from others giving their relationship opinions and posting their happy photos on social media. Dig deep and think about what life would really be like after a divorce. Search my website for other posts about divorce to help you assess what you really want to do. Type “divorce” in the search box at the top of your screen.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, 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 spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. 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’.”