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I'm Getting Divorced—What's Next? Things to Expect & Prepare for

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For most people, getting a divorce is overwhelming. The divorce process alone can be daunting, often involving lengthy meetings with lawyers and contentious disputes with a soon-to-be-ex. Pursuing an optimal outcome in your divorce while simultaneously juggling all your other daily responsibilities (work, caring for children, maintaining your mental and physical health, etc.) can seem almost impossible.

However, it's just as important to spend time thinking about what happens after your divorce as it is to focus on the immediate process of the divorce itself. Keeping the outcome of your divorce in mind as you dissolve your marriage can help you make the most effective decisions for your future.

In an earlier blog, we covered some of the standard costs associated with divorce. Today, we're looking at how you can prepare for the end of the divorce process and what to expect from your life post-divorce so that you can make plans with confidence.

At Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers, we're committed to fighting for our clients' rights and best interests during divorce.

To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (940) 293-2313 to schedule a consultation with our team.

As You Finalize the Divorce: Think Outside the Box

The first instinct many people have when filing for divorce is to go into a sort of autopilot. One of the first things divorcees often do, for example, is find a relatively affordable place (usually near the marital home if they're not staying in it) and sign a lease.

The circumstances of your divorce may dictate whether you need to move during the divorce, and if so, where. If you have children, you may need to stay close to the marital home as you and your soon-to-be-ex discuss custody.

However, if you don't have children or other obligations tying you to the immediate area, it may be worth thinking outside the box a bit when planning your future.

Your divorce could be the perfect opportunity to move to that city you've always wanted to live in or search for a job in a new area or industry. Thinking about making such life changes can be difficult but considering exciting new opportunities can help take the edge off the divorce and also enable you to reframe the divorce as a new beginning for you and your career.

First Things First: Let Yourself Grieve if You Have to

The process of actually finalizing a divorce can be (and typically is) incredibly stressful. Dealing with divorce-related processes (property division, alimony, child support and custody, etc.) can take a significant amount of time and often leaves little room for emotional introspection.

As a result, many people try and bottle up their emotions until the divorce is over. Once the court finalizes the divorce, many divorcees are hit with an unexpected feeling: grief.

No matter how your marriage turned out, it's normal to mourn the loss of your marriage. If your marriage ended amicably, you might be upset that things didn't work out. If you and your spouse are estranged, that can be emotionally draining as well.

Whatever the case, allow yourself to move through the stages of grief and fully process the end of your marriage. We recently covered the importance of working with a mental health professional during divorce in a recent blog, so consider continuing to see your therapist post-divorce (or visit one if you haven't yet).

Depending on the Time of Year, Seeing an Accountant May Be Wise

Your financial situation may change rapidly post-divorce. Some factors that can impact your financial stability after finalizing a divorce include:

  • The outcome of your property division case. For example, whether you kept or sold the marital home could dictate if you need to pay a capital gains tax on the sale, find a new place to rent, or need to shoulder the mortgage by yourself.
  • If alimony played a role in the divorce. Whether you're a payor or recipient, the presence of an alimony arrangement—even if it's only temporary—can totally change your financial landscape.
  • The presence of a child support order. Again, no matter which side of a child support order you're on, it will significantly impact your finances.
  • How your taxes change. In many marriages, one party earns more than the other. That means, post-divorce, each party could find themselves in new tax brackets (assuming they filed taxes together while married). If you finalize your divorce and tax season is coming up, consult an accountant to get a more accurate understanding of how your divorce will impact your taxes moving forward.
  • The expenses you accrue throughout your divorce. We recently wrote a blog on the most common expenses you can expect to pay for during your divorce. Factor those expenses into your budgeting to make life a little easier.

Divorce can be incredibly expensive. Preparing for costs in advance and consulting financial professionals can help you save money in the long run and figure out a way to smoothly budget for your divorce.

Stay Away from Social Media

It may be tempting to post about your divorce on social media, especially if you're not on good terms with your spouse.

However, airing your dirty laundry on social media could come back to bite you later; especially if you're engaged in court orders with them, such as a child custody, support, or alimony arrangement.

The other party can use inappropriate or angry social media posts against you in future modification cases as evidence against your character.

The less you share about your divorce on social media platforms, the better it will be for everyone.

If You Have Children, Don't Involve Them

Depending on your relationship with your ex and co-parent, bad-mouthing them to your child(ren) or openly disapproving of their actions may be tempting.

Again, doing so can hurt you in the long run. If your ex can procure evidence that you're actively slandering them in front of your children, it can hurt you in any future child custody modification cases.

More importantly, it can also drive a wedge between you and your children. If your children feel forced to pick sides between you and your ex, they may come away resenting everyone—and that's not what you want.

The more amicably you try and ease into a healthy co-parenting relationship with your ex, the better it will be for everyone.

At Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers, we know how difficult going through a divorce is. We'll work with you to understand the ins and outs of your case, helping you develop a case strategy that enables you to pursue your goals during and after the divorce.

To schedule a consultation with our team and receive the legal counsel you deserve, contact us online or via phone at (940) 293-2313.