Have you’ve come to the point where you are seriously considering divorce?
You’ve been unhappy for a long time. Counselling hasn’t helped. Your work product is suffering. You’ve tried talking to your spouse. You wake up sad every day and your kids are reacting to the tension between their parents.
Now that you are seriously considering divorce, even if you expect it to be settled amicably out of court, there is a very important first step you can take that may ease your path considerably. And that is to keep a divorce preparation/evaluation diary.
There are three advantages to keeping a divorce diary like this.
Organizing your thoughts helps you process your feelings.
When you’re considering divorce, there are so many thoughts that go through your head. “If I stay in an unhappy marriage it could hurt my kids.” “Will I ever remarry?” “I don’t want to feel like a failure.” “Can I make it financially on my own?” “Can I afford to pay child support?” The advantage of getting all these thoughts down in a diary are twofold. a) You don’t have to carry them around in your head, churning your emotions with no direction. b) You can address each thought and question separately in order to find the answers.
Writing down your feelings helps you defuse frustration and anger.
It’s a proven therapeutic tool to get our thoughts and feelings down on paper. It helps to get control of our emotions, slowing down knee-jerk reactions, especially those that occur when a couple has reached the point where divorce is being considered. When emotions are diffused one is less likely to be aggressive, either verbally or physically. Both actions in the heat of the moment, could result in a call to the police and/or being ejected from the home. These kinds of circumstances could really harm your case especially if you’re seeking custody of your children.
Collecting all your personal information enables you to move forward quickly and more smoothly.
For the process of divorce, whether you are using a comprehensive divorce agreement or you are forced to fight it out in court, you will need to gather basic information about yourself and your family. This includes all your financial records and ownership documents. (Just to note: I always recommend a comprehensive divorce agreement whenever possible. Winding up in litigation in court is both destructive for your family and very costly
The bonuses of utilizing the diary are threefold.
- You will have an outlet for your emotions and frustrations.
- You won’t have to go searching for the documents and details you’ll need to file for divorce.
- In the event you have entered litigation, a lot of the work you’ll have to do will have already been done and you won’t be forced to do it during one of the most stressful times in your life.
With all of these things in mind, your divorce evaluation/preparation diary is divided into 4 sections to help you keep track of everything you’ll need going forward no matter which situation you are in.
- Gathering and organizing personal information about yourself and your family.
- Record events before you ever file anything – arguments, social worker or school problems, police visits, and really anything else that gets you angry or upset.
- Similar to the second with more details to be used if and after legal proceedings have begun.
- Track all your financial information.
Keeping a divorce evaluation/preparation diary will help you be better prepared if you are seriously considering divorce.