Divorce Decision Day One: 6 Realizations of a Survivor

Divorce Decision Day One: 6 Realizations of a Survivor

Divorce Decision Day One: 

6 Realizations of a Survivor

Divorce? What the Hell Now?

A friend called me this week looking for a suggestion on a lawyer. It made me think about our posts and I saw a need for a simple day one guide. As always I like to point out that I’m not here to condone divorce. But it happens, and unfortunately I have been there. In hindsight these six points could have saved me a lot of stress and money.

 1. Take Ownership – Understand your decision and own it. Even if it was not your choice. You are here now. Don’t focus on the past and live in regret. Wherever you are, you can MoveOn to a positive new future for your family and yourself.

 2. For Richer or (Much) Poorer, (especially with a lawyer) – To our legal friends, no we are not being anti-lawyer. But you need to understand this relationship.

  • Your lawyer is not your psychologist or your friend – Forget this and it will cost you. If and when you decide to meet your lawyer. Be very specific regarding the situation. Telling them the blow by blow account of how you met, how your partner proposed, and what an ass they have become will not help your case or pocket book. Remember this new business relationship charges by the hour.
  • You can not “out lawyer” your ex – Hiring “The Hammer” might make you feel strong with the thought of your ex’s trembling knees, but in relativity unless there are extreme circumstances, you are just spending more to get the same.  Plus, whatever you decide to spend your ex partner does also out of the same family pot of diminishing Gold.
  • Its going to cost you. A lot. Get over it. Suck it up and follow points 3-6 and it WILL be less.

3. Have a plan. Start this before meeting with anyone. Sit quietly. Take out the emotions and be logical.

  • Know what you want and what you are willing to give.
  • Have very specific goals – Start the asset list. You need to list every items in your house and asset that you own. Then go through it and start dividing the spoils. It’s amazing how much that dusty antique teapot can end up costing you. Unless it contains your grandmothers ashes, MoveOn.
  • Know your “lines in the sand” – What are you NOT willing to give up – Are you sure they REALLY are your grandmothers ashes???

4. Fair is a point of view. In The long run the stuff doesn’t matter.

  • Be the realistic mature one – Which can be near impossible when your are negotiating with someone that has hurt you so deeply.
  • If you start from 50/50 there’s not much to loose. Most courts today will end here unless there are very specific mitigating circumstances. And this includes the kids time.
  • What do you need to live? What about your Ex? You know what you broth brought in and it supported one household and your shared life’s. Somethings going to have to give, and for a while its going to be your exotic, early retirement vacations and probably the house. Your vision of your ex “the Troll” living under a bridge is not going to happen.

5. Communicate – Talk as much as you can with your ex partner before drawing pistols. It will save you a lot of money which you will need in the long run.

  • No. 1 Priority – Your Children (not your cat) Again what are you realistically willing to give and what are you fighting for? Today it’s  Joint custody or prepare for war.
  • You may think that the signed paperwork is the end, but its actually the beginning of a new future which WILL involve your ex especially if you have children. As you MoveOn, you will leave your children and your grandchildren the real decision on where they spend there vacations. A lot of times they pick the manipulative parent to keep the peace. So work on keeping it also for the kids sake and you so that both of you can share in their lives and they don’t emigrate to New Zealand.
  • Choose your best medium, especially during the divorce. Emotions can get the best of anyone, so communicate via email or text if things are hot. Communicate clearly, in a non-confrontational manner with specific requests. Follow the court ordered rules to a “t” and work on being polite and on your best behavior at all times.

6. Its always darkest before the dawn and Tomorrow is a new day.

  • Nobody is perfect. But work on living day by day so that you are of good conscious that you tried your best.
  • Stub your toe? Had a bad day, its always OK to hit reset and restart you attitude.

In conclusion, it is good to seek wise counsel. Don’t let negative gossips whip up more animosity than is already present, but instead focus on your long term future .

Best regards and safe travels on your future paths,


P.S. – Need Help Locally? Find a Lawyer, Therapist, Counselor or Financial Adviser Here.

P.P.S Looking for something specific? Try the “Search” function on the top right of the screen,  there are many more helpful articles on “divorce”.


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About author

Thom Slade
Thom Slade 282 posts

“Healing for the broken hearted. A map, guide and community to move on positively/fantastically in life with a healthy beaming smile”
Thom. Thom is the originator and alter-ego of ivemovedon.com. Divorce Survivor, Single Parent, and now moving on to new adventures in Life. Follow his journey here every week, or on Instagram and Facebook.

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  1. Andrea
    September 15, 21:58 Reply
    This info probably could have saved both of us a lot of grief. The truth is - there's no manual (or at least there wasn't at the time) for divorce. I remember it as just being something extremely painful and so unfair that the one who broke the rules was going to be so happy, while the one who followed all the rules and put the other person first was going to be miserable. And that's definitely what happened. but like you're saying in the article, there was nothing to be done about it. I remember going skydiving a lot. It was really the only way I could get back some of my own power and individuality and meet some new people. Also, it was one hobby that forced me to focus my attention very sharply on other things, even if the ride only lasted a few minutes. Good post - glad Day One is decades behind me! :)
  2. Shelley
    September 18, 10:20 Reply
    These are very good points. I watched my sister go through an awful divorce and vowed mine (unfortunately) would be different when it finally came to that point. Happily we chose to handle our divorce much like you talked about, and we are both much happier because of it!
  3. AnnAbbitz
    November 25, 09:46 Reply
    I'm in my second (perfect!) marriage now...my first was something I would NEVER want my girls to go through. My 2 oldest are with my ex, and he (along with his lawyer(s)) have and still use them horribly. Sometimes no matter how much you want it to be painless, you get those that are a pain in the you-know-where....hateful, evil, spiteful.....that is him, and his family. My 2 oldest have no relationship whatsoever with their father, their choice...and it didn't help that he got out of touch with them. But it's all good, their stepdad, and father to my youngest, more than makes up for their biological father....and his family welcomed them with open arms. It's hardest on them, but they have MovedOn, as have I. :)
  4. JimsGotWeb
    December 04, 19:10 Reply
    If you are getting divorced and have children, Thom is right, signing the papers is not the end, it's just the beginning of a new relationship. Sometimes it will seem impossible to keep your cool, but for the sake of the kids, you must realize that your divorce isn't their fault. Don't make them pay for your mistake. Decisions will have to be made and promises kept. It will be hard and, at times, seem impossible, but you can do it. You'll need to make sacrifices and also stand your ground. Don't use the children as a tool to get even with your ex, and if they try to use them, call them on it. Just remember, things will get better and you will MoveOn.

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