If you are considering divorce in 2017, you are probably dreading the approaching holidays. Let’s face it, no one wants to acknowledge marital discord when the theme is “joy” and “good cheer.”
As the New Year approaches, you may want to consider focusing now on preparation and planning for what lies ahead. Here are some steps you can take before and during the holidays that will lay the ground work for a more productive process. If you simply don’t have time or can’t face the prospect of divorce now, do what you can and keep this list handy for action when the holidays are over.
- Set a budget for gift-giving; avoid creating new debt or spending down savings.
- Begin gathering and making copies of all your household financial documents for the discovery process. Consider getting a credit report on yourself and your spouse.
- Take photographs of everything in your house, inside the closets, drawers, the garage and even your safe deposit box, and date each image. Take extra care in photographing valuable collections, if accessible. Store the images in a safe location, possibly online. If items start to disappear as you move through divorce, you have a record of the items.
- Reach out to old friends and those with whom you have lost contact. It’s time to start rebuilding your social connections and network.
- Consider engaging a certified divorce financial analyst to help you prepare for the often complicated financial side of divorce. He or she is specifically trained to help you compile a list of assets and debts, get answers to financial and tax questions, consider equitable settlement arrangements and develop a realistic post-divorce budget.
- Practice self-care. Schedule a massage or a pedicure/manicure. Take walks or try yoga. Meditate. Watch your diet and alcohol consumption. Staying healthy will help you make better decisions in the weeks and months ahead.
- Every day, write down one thing for which you are grateful and why. If you keep the list on your computer, it’s easy to update each day. This will help you maintain perspective and a more positive attitude.
Put the divorce on the back burner during the holidays, if you must. But remember it is still simmering there and will soon require your full attention. Keep up appearances, but take care of yourself and start preparing for what lies ahead. You want to be ready to proceed on your path to becoming a healthy, well-adjusted single in the New Year.