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So He’s Asked for a Divorce. Now What?

His “I do” has turned into “I don’t”. When you walked down the aisle, you envisioned a life of growing old together in marital bliss, but reality has not been so kind. It’s now time to get a divorce, but how do you go about actually preparing for this huge life change?

As an experienced family law attorney, I urge you to learn as much as you can, because knowledge is power – and empowerment.  From understanding the law to caring for your children- the more equipped you are with the facts, the less traumatic, costly and time-consuming the entire process will be. Learn about the divorce process, talk to professionals in the divorce field, and prepare yourself for the inevitable challenges on the road ahead.

Ultimately, the best way to prepare for a divorce- whether divorce was your choice or chosen for you- is to participate in a Second Saturday Divorce Workshop, held via Zoom on the second Saturday of every month. In these workshops, you will hear from divorce attorneys, divorce financial specialists, and therapists who can give you the tools you need to prepare for this huge life change. Registered attendees have complete anonymity; they are not required to share their name with other participants and may elect to confidentially ask specific questions of the speakers throughout the event. Interested participants can learn more and register for the next workshop here.

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Here are some best practices so you can power through your divorce and come out the other end stronger, better, and ready for the next chapter in your life:

  1. You are going to need a strategy and access to financial resources to be able to make future plans you can feel secure about, possibly look for new housing before your settlement, and pay for your legal representation throughout the process.
  2. Choose a divorce attorney you feel comfortable with during this process. Choose someone that is competent to help you determine the full scope of your marital estate, search for hidden assets and explain that process, and develop your comprehensive settlement strategy; don't hire someone that just  wants to gain you as a client and forces you to learn during the litigation process. Your attorney can also walk you through different settlement approaches, including mediation and collaborative divorce.
  3. Search for hidden assets to get your fair share of your marital estate. When he realizes that he may lose a big chunk of his wealth, he could start trying to hide assets. That’s why it is important to look for and reveal as many assets as possible before the divorce.
  4. Update your resume in preparation of potentially returning to the workforce. If your husband’s income allowed you to stay at home but resulted in unsecured debts, then a divorce may mean you might need to return to the workforce. While you can certainly ask for both child support and spousal support (also known as alimony), spousal support is more often awarded for short periods of time and not indefinitely. As you prepare for divorce, update your resume, put out feelers, or start reaching out to old business contacts.  Many jobs can be performed remotely and with more flexible scheduling than in the past.  Knowing what your options are may make it a less stressful prospect in the event you have to rejoin the workforce.
  5. Prepare for the Financial Reality of Divorce. The average woman faces a 73% loss in her standard of living after a divorce. Much of that may be due to a lack of knowledge of her future needs and current assets.  Now is the time to begin preparing for your new financial reality.  You cannot determine your destination if you have not examined your starting point. Put together your post-divorce budget now so that you can use it as a guide during your divorce negotiations.

There is no denying that divorce can be one of the biggest, most challenging journeys you will ever make, but you do not need to go it alone. The Memphis Second Saturday Divorce Workshop team stands ready to help you take the next step, providing you with unbiased information to help you understand your potential legal and financial options, as well as, your emotional needs, so you can move forward with your life. Together with the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop team, you will not have to go it alone.

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About the Author:

In addition to being a proud Memphis Mom to Gaston, Lisa J. Gill is a partner and attorney at Thomas, White and Gill PLLC, a Guardian Ad Litem in both family law and probate matters, and a certified Rule 31 mediator. www.memphisfamilylaw.com


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