When someone you love, someone you have spent years with, had some memorial experiences with and perhaps had children with, tells you they want a divorce…it can feel like you are dying. The same can be said when you are the one who is having to deliver the news. Either way, there are no winners and the result is the same…gnawing grief. We all know how grief pans out, we’ve all felt it at some stage in our lives and in different scenarios. Whether it is a failed relationship, a lost business or some other heart wrenching tragedy, the rollercoaster travels in the same direction…into the valley of uncertainty and anxiety.
That stab in the heart you feel upon hearing the news is followed by shock that results in a numb feeling where nothing penetrates and you notice little that happens around you. I know this sounds difficult but it is at this time that you need to compel yourself to take action and control of what is happening around you. You need to be navigating your boat and not being battered by the waves. This is the time you need to work out what you need and what you want. You need to find out what resources you have at your disposal to survive in the short term and those you need in the long term to carve out a future.
Your ex partner may have already spent time working out what they want to do. They may have already made some decisions and put some actions in place. Their ducks are lined up and because they have already mentally moved on they may try to hurry you along also. This a time when you need to take a deep breath, focus on your children if you have any, and try to take stock of the situation as calmly as your nerves allow.
One of the greatest issues of concern for you may be the family finances. You will need to secure sufficient financial resources to ensure your restructured family can exist comfortably until everything is sorted out with your ex partner. I recommend you begin by preparing a budget. You must identify what you will need to purchase in terms of those day to day essentials for your family, what obligations to pay for to maintain the family home and the financial external necessities such as school fees and mortgage payments. Open a separate bank account and have your pay and family benefit allowance paid into it. Monitor any joint credit card use and try not to go overboard in your spending. Anger buying is never a wise move as this liability will be reviewed as at the date of separation for use by each party. You may not be able to cancel any jointly held credit cards because they will be in joint names and must have a zero balance before they can be closed in any case.
Deal with the immediate financial needs of your family first and then think about the next step of preparing the financial statement required for the divorce process.
Remember small and consistent steps will see you through this process towards what I hope for you will be a happier future.