Divorce is rough. There is no way to get around it. Whether you initiated your split or you are still coming to terms with your marriage ending, divorce is grueling emotionally and financially.
Divorce attorneys will try and tell you what to expect, but there is no way to understand what it will feel like. While you cannot know exactly what to expect, there are two things you can do now to help you get through your divorce and save you money in the long run.
Invest in yourself now
Aside from having children, the financial strain of setting up two households on money that used to support one is hard. Money is extremely tight so any additional expense may seem impossible, but there are two things you should invest in now: an attorney and a therapist.
Why a good attorney matters: A good attorney will guide you through the legal aspects of divorce and make sure your interests are protected and a therapist will be your emotional guide.
If you are questioning why having an attorney matters, just spend a few minutes scanning through blogs and articles from divorced fathers and others who did not talk to an attorney before signing their divorce decree. Many will say that they agreed to certain terms when they did not consider what that would really look like once the divorce was complete. Once the divorce is done, making adjustments to child custody and child support can be challenging. Investing in an attorney now will save you money in the long run.
Why having a therapist is important: A therapist is going to be your emotional guide through your divorce. Your friends are not enough. You are going to experience a lot of emotions going through the divorce process, many of them unpleasant. You are going to need to talk, a lot. While talking with friends may feel the most comfortable to you, even the most supportive friend is going to be drained by ongoing venting sessions.
Processing through your divorce with a therapist will give you a safe place to release your emotions and help you get to a place where you can be in the same room with your former spouse without getting consumed in negative emotion.
If you have children, the benefits of a therapist will continue to pay dividends for years. A divorce can leave you feeling pretty beat up. Working with a therapist can get you past negative emotions and feeling like a victim and to a place where you can be comfortable and maybe even happy about your new status.
A therapist will also give you tools for dealing with some of the inevitable challenges of post-divorce life, such as when your former spouse decides to start dating again.
Most importantly, a therapist can help you build some tools for effective co-parenting. You may no longer be married to your former spouse, but you will always be parents together. Long term studies on the effects of divorce have shown that children whose parents co-parent effectively do far better than those whose parents bad-mouth the other parent and put their children in the middle.
Why hiring a good attorney and a therapist will save you money
It may sound counter-intuitive to spend money to save money in a divorce, but there is sound support for why you should.
An attorney is there to look out for your interests and to help you set a framework for your life ahead. An attorney will not only help you avoid mistakes that could cost thousands to repair. An attorney will also look out for your financial interests, making sure that property and retirement accounts are properly valued and tax consequences are factored in.
A therapist will help you avoid emotional battles that can derail a quick resolution of your divorce and can cost you tens of thousands in legal fees if you need to litigate matters.
This small investment now can give you a large payout later.