We think of a new year as a re-birth, an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and change our lives. That could be changing jobs, living healthier, going on that vacation you dream of, or ending your dysfunctional marriage. If you have had enough of marriage and decide it is time to move on, Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., is here to help.
Holidays are stressful when a marriage is on the verge of breaking up, especially if you have kids. You feel the need to “keep up appearances” to family and friends. You want your kids to have a positive holiday season, not one filled with thoughts of parents going their own ways. That is all perfectly reasonable, and it may be easier to do knowing that you will not need to continue your charade next year, so make the most of it.
Talk to Your Spouse
If you have not discussed a divorce with your spouse, unless you are in an abusive relationship and fear for your safety, you should. Ideally, you will be on the same page and can limit disagreements. When each spouse is reasonable and respectful, the process can go much faster, with less stress and expense. It is also far easier on children when the relationship ends on a positive (or at least not negative) note.
Contact Our Office
Holidays and obligations in November and December cut into the time and energy needed to prepare for a divorce. No matter how hectic your schedule, take the time to call our office and schedule a consultation. We can discuss your situation, what you need to do to prepare to get divorced, and how we can help. Together, we can “game plan” how to accomplish your goal of getting divorced.
Whether you start this year or after the holidays, collect and organize critical financial information and documents, including those concerning:
- Home equity loans or lines of credit
- Credit scores and reports
- Debts such as credit cards, student and vehicle loans
- Property ownership
- Retirement savings
- Bills from private schools or colleges showing tuition costs
- Medical records if one or both of you have conditions limiting your income potential
- Business ownership and finances
Starting new bank accounts just for your use is a good idea. You should also set up a new email account and rent a post office box so you can communicate with us and others without your spouse being able to monitor your communications.
Be Prepared if You Think the Divorce Will Not Go Smoothly
If you fear your spouse will not end the marriage without a financial or emotional fight, you will have to be mentally and financially prepared. Long, drawn-out proceedings cost both spouses more time, energy, and money. Mediation may be an effective way to pull a spouse out of their anger and selfishness and make them realize the best resolution is one both parties can accept. Divorce is about starting new lives, not inflicting pain and revenge.
Get Emotional Help If You Need It
A divorce can come with a lot of emotional baggage. You may be angry or disappointed in yourself or your spouse. You may blame yourself for the end of what you imagined would be a fairy tale marriage. You may fear being alone in the future. It is very common for those undergoing a divorce to get help from healthcare professionals. You should explore this option if you feel you may need help.
Family and friends can be excellent sources of support – or not. They may tell you to stay together “for the children.” Their divorce may have involved very different issues, and their ex may have a different personality than your spouse, so what they say may be of limited use. People near you may greatly help you or give you bad advice. You must separate the good from the bad.
If It Is Time for You to Start a New Life, We Can Help
To learn more about divorce, the legal process, or to discuss legal representation, call Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., at (215) 752-6200 or book a consultation online.