You must consider these five things before you proceed with the divorce. Your decision to divorce should be a well-informed one, as the choice to divorce and the resulting settlement is most often permanent.
The first thing you must consider is that you may have to sell your home if you own one. Will you qualify for a mortgage? You must crunch the numbers to determine if the home you may be attached to, or that you don’t want to uproot your children from, can be managed financially.
The second thing you must consider is that if you are the non-working spouse, then you may very likely have to return to the workforce to ensure you have enough income to maintain a somewhat similar lifestyle for you and your children.
The third thing you must consider is that it’s very likely that you will not see your children every day. This reality is sometimes unfathomable and often guts wrenching — especially for stay-at-home parents. Often, people can’t comprehend what this means until it comes time to make these types of plans.
The fourth thing you must consider is that you will likely not see your children every birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. This means that at the most important time of year — during holidays and especially if your family lives out-of-town — you may be separated from your children.
The last thing you must consider is that if you are approaching retirement age, it is very likely that you may have to put off those plans, as retirement may no longer be affordable. If you have worked for 25 or 30 years, it maybe overwhelming to realize that you cannot retire when you had planned.
Now, I know that some of these things may sound obvious, but I assure you that if your marriage is in trouble, you will not feel in control emotionally. Rather, you will be overwhelmed and likely stressed out, and you will need guidance to determine if divorce is the best decision for you and your family. Take baby steps and proceed for one hour at a time. There is light at the end of the tunnel, I assure you.
Sharon Numerow is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst at Alberta Divorce Finances in Calgary.