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10 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself If You're Considering A Separation Or Divorce

Divorce Decision-making | 10 Top FAQs For Divorce Preparation
If you're considering a marital separation, you've usually navigated a long and difficult period of your marriage

By the time you've gotten to a place where the idea of a separation or divorce has popped into your head you've usually gone through a pretty rocky period in your marriage. In most situations you'll want to take time to figure out if you can work through whatever issues you and your spouse are experiencing.

Communication (or lack there of), infidelity, work stress, finances, and child-rearing can take a toll on any relationship.

(If you're in a situation where you're experiencing more extreme circumstances, like abuse, please check out this post, 14 Ways To Prepare When Leaving An Abusive Marriage.)

Being able to take steps to see if a reconciliation is possible, as well as preparing for the possibility of a split can feel like you're betting against your marriage, but that's entirely untrue. Being in a position to make your decision to stay or go entirely based on the connection and love in your partnership rather the fear of being alone or financial anxieties puts you in a position to authentically assess if your marriage aligns with your values and expectations rather than just staying because you're scared of the unknown. (No one deserves to be someone's plan B!) Considering a separation or divorce?

No one goes into a separation or divorce without doing a lot of introspection and self-assessment. Asking yourself hard questions will not only provide clarity but will also empower you to make informed decisions.

These 10 divorce preparation questions are a great starting point to help you figure out what's next:n 10 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself If You're Considering A Separation Or Divorce

1. Have I Explored All Possible Solutions?

Before taking any extreme action in life, the first thing you should consider is getting professional help like couples therapy. As reported in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 93% of patients felt they had more effective tools for managing their relationship challenges post therapy.

Not ready for couples therapy? How about individual therapy? Being able to talk through where you are with a trained professional can help you separate where you are in your marriage, what the issues are for you, and address what part you have in the process.

You can also engage with group therapy for low or no cost. If you're not sure where to find these services in your area, a quick Google search should provide you with some resources. Your local librarian is also a great person to ask to help you with this research.

If you're short on time or prefer virtual help, consider downloading the Circles app. Per their site, "Circles offers free audio-only group support so you can talk about it anywhere, anytime, with people who get it." I know a few coaches and therapist who have run groups on Circles and highly recommend it.

2. Am I Financially Prepared for Divorce?

Divorce can have substantial financial implications. An accurate understanding of your current financial situation not only cuts down on a lot of anxiety and fear, it empowers you to take your next steps with clarity.

So, first things first... Do you handle the finances in your marriage? If so, when was the last time you went through your budget? If you aren't the one in charge of money and bill paying now is the time to figure out what it costs to currently live your life. Assessing your financial realities benefits you if you move forward with a split or if you reconcile! Win-win.

Check out this post about navigating the changes divorce brings. It will help to incorporate hidden cost you'll be paying for on your own if you end up divorcing.

3. What Impact Will the Divorce Have on My Children?Considering a separation or divorce? 10 questions you need to ask yourself before moving forward.

While divorce undoubtedly affects children, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggests that it's the ongoing conflict between parents that harms them more than the divorce itself. How you handle a separation or divorce is an opportunity to model behavior for your children.

Pediatrician Heather Sever, DO, say that divorce and separation can impact children at any age. “When parents are going through difficult times, children perceive that, regardless of their age. So while kids may express their stresses in different ways at different ages, it’s important for parents to be as open and honest as possible, even with difficult situations,” she says.

If you end up separating or divorcing, having a plan in place for when each parent will be with a child from the jump provides much needed structure for kids during a time of change. Being able to keep their schedule as unchanged possible helps kids feel more secure as well.

PRO TIP Your pediatrician is a GREAT resource to tap.

4. Am I Ready for the Changes in Living Arrangements?

Taking time to figure out your housing situation sooner than later will help be proactive about your living situation and not be in a position where you're scrambling to find a place last minute.

So, have you thought about where you'll live after a split? Are you planning on staying in the home you're in now, or will you move out? What money will you have to earmark toward rent or a mortgage on your your own. Do you need to find a temporary place to stay?

5. How Will Divorce Impact My Overall Life Plan?

Divorce can have a significant impact on a myriad of plans you have in place for your future including: retirement, career, and more. Make a list of the ripple effect this life change will have ASAP.

6. Am I Prepared for the Divorce Legal Process?

Getting local family law attorney and mediator referrals as early as possible will help you put some consultations on the books. Good news? Some people offer free consultations (ask before booking!). Make the most of your time by coming up with a list of questions you want answered.

Download my freebie, 24 Questions To Ask A Divorce Attorney Or Mediator. It's a great jumping off point to get you thinking about what questions you want answered by a legal professional.

7. How Will My Social Life Change?

Sometimes divorce can significantly alter your social circles. Some friends might end up not knowing how to balance a friendship with both spouses after a split, others might have been friends with one spouse prior to marriage so they end up sticking with that person after. Whatever the reason why people drop out of your life after a separation or divorce, remember that more often than not it has nothing to do with you.

PRO TIP: Start engaging in activities that bring you joy. That will put you in the best position to meet new people you have shared interests with.

8. Am I Ready for Single Parenthood (if applicable)?

Going from a two parent household to one is a big change. There is no more "can you watch the kids for a minute while I run to the bathroom." Make sure you understand where you'll need to anticipate need coverage for childcare gaps, transportation issues, medical appointments, and more.

PRO TIP: A great exercise is to print out a weekly calendar and run through what a possible week could be. That will show you where you'd need to make adjustments so you're not caught off guard.

9. Am I Stalling the Divorce Due to Fear of Social Stigma Or Judgement?

It can be hard for you to share the news about your possible split if you're in a situation where the idea of separation or divorce has been clearly defined as a bad thing. We're all human, and only get one go-round. Everyone gets thrown challenges in life, so don't put other's expectations ahead of what the right decision for your life is.

You're living your truth, and others are living theirs. Focus on what's in your control, and remember that you need to stay true to what is right for you and aligns with your values.

10. Do I Have a Support System?

Being able to connect with others who have been where you are is so important when you're navigating a separation or divorce. Confiding in people who've gone through a separation or divorce and gaining clarity from their insights and experiences goes a long way to make you feel less alone during an isolating time.

PRO TIP: Don't have any friends who've been through a divorce? Check with your local community center or library for a list of support groups and events in your area.

Taking time to answer these questions will put you in a good position to best support yourself as you move forward.

Want to take your next steps with confidence and financial clarity? Book a consultation with me HERE and we'll walk through where you are in the process and create a game plan that walks you through exactly what to do next.

Ready for more? Check out this post about the 7 Steps To Prepare You For A Marital Separation.

The Divorce Planner's Mission: Divorce Prep Made Easy

The Divorce Planner's Ultimate Separation And Divorce digital prep tools and the online course have helped thousands prepare in advance of a separation and divorce so they save time and money, make smart choices, and move forward with clarity and confidence. The digital worksheets and course (products included!) walk you through exactly what documents and statements to gather, itemize your assets and their value with ease, and the spreadsheets make figuring out your financial realities to snap. Best of all, you'll pinpoint your divorce goals and priorities so you stay focused on building your best next chapter.

Once you complete the course and bundle you'll have a everything necessary to hand over to a divorce attorney or mediator so they can get right to work. Wahooooo!


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