You opened your inbox on January 1st and there they were — all of those “New Year, New You!” e-mails. How to stick with that diet plan. How to walk 10,000 steps per day. How to replace bad habits. But what if your resolution is something much different? Your New Year’s Resolution: get a divorce.
Here are 7 helpful resolutions for those considering divorce:
- Make “baby step” resolutions. A new year can be a great mile marker for a fresh start, but resolutions often fail because people bite off more than they can chew or don’t make their resolutions specific enough. Be specific about the steps you need to take towards getting a divorce and set a timeline for doing them. For example, you may want to research the divorce process in New Jersey by January 15th and schedule a consult with a family law attorney by January 30th.
- Make a list of what you want. A list of what you want does not just have to mean tangible or economic items. Do you want to stay in the same school district? Do you want the divorce to resolve quickly and amicably? Do you want to share equal parenting time with your children? If you are comfortable, talk with friends about their divorce to find out what pitfalls you want to avoid in your divorce proceedings.
- Frame your divorce positively. Divorce can be confusing. You might be questioning how you got here and why it happened. Do not think of divorce as a “failure.” Instead, see it as an opportunity to move forward with healthy relationships and boundaries. You may be ready to turn the page, but decide how you want to author the next chapter.
- Know your finances. The start of the year is a good time to gather financial documents as you prepare to file new tax returns. Pull bank statements, credit card statements, investment account information, and the like to figure out what your budget has been and what it needs to be as you move forward.
- Resolve to be an effective co-parent. Co-parenting can be tough. Your marriage may be over, but if you have kids, your family is not. Resolve to make your children’s best interests your priority. Handle disputes out of earshot of your children and never use your children as messengers.
- Surround yourself with advocates. Find a team of people who will empower you. You will be making important and oftentimes difficult decisions regarding your family and your finances. Surround yourself with a professional team to help negotiate from a position of strength. Find a family law attorney who understands your positions, is compatible with your style, is candid with you, and will represent your best interests.
- Take care of yourself. Divorce can be stressful. Go back into your inbox and read through some of those e-mails on how you can replace bad habits and drink a gallon of water each day. Don’t neglect your own physical and mental health.
If you have decided that divorce is your new year’s resolution, contact our family law team at Cohn Lifland. How can we help you make your list for 2021?