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Getting a divorce is an extremely emotional process. Even if the relationship was really bad, disconnecting from a person that you may have once loved can be very painful.
When I started contemplating getting a divorce, I was very nervous and afraid. I was afraid I was making the wrong decision, that I was hurting the person I was married to. I was afraid of what my family and friends would say, and I was afraid of being alone again. However, when I weighed the pros and cons, I knew I had done everything I could to make it work, including various marriage counselors.
The biggest reason I left was that I no longer felt safe with my ex. I finally had to ask myself, “is staying in this relationship worth my life?” The answer was NO! It was then, with the help of my personal therapist, that I begin to focus on safely leaving the marriage.
Fortunately, I was able to quickly get a divorce, but there were a couple of mistakes that I made along the way. I don’t think there is such thing as a “perfect divorce”, but I do think that there are some mistakes that women make that should never happen during a divorce- mistakes that could cost them a lot in the end.
Three of the biggest mistakes women make when going through a divorce process are:
Let’s go into more detail on these mistakes and what to do to avoid them.
Having a plan or exit strategy before you discuss divorce with your spouse is key. In my blog, How To Create A Divorce Exit Strategy The Complete Guide, I discuss the top 10 steps you need to take as you plan for a divorce.
Strategies include getting a secret storage unit to start storing important items, talking to a reputable divorce lawyer to discuss your rights, learning about the laws of your state when it comes to a divorce (especially child custody), learning about finances, making sure a person you trust knows what’s going on in case something happens, and more.
Having a plan before you start the legal process will help guide you even when emotions get high. It can help you think through where you want to live, what you will need when you are single again, and if you have children, how you want to handle custody.
I highly suggest you start writing out a divorce plan and the action steps you will take before you tell your spouse you want a divorce, after you start the legal proceedings, and after the divorce is finalized. Be sure to keep this plan in a place where your spouse or partner cannot find it, as it’s important to keep this plan private- it’s just for you.
The second mistake women make when getting a divorce is not understanding their finances.
Finances include earned income from jobs, investments that you and your spouse have, assets such as your home, boats, art collections, etc. Basically, anything that is worth money that you and your spouse acquired while you were married.
Unfortunately, there are some women who completely trusted their spouse without learning about the money. If you have not done so already, it’s important for you to start learning about the amount of money you and your spouse have, how much debt you owe as a couple (if any), and any assets you own as a couple. Discuss your financial situation with your lawyer as you may need paperwork to see what is and isn’t in your name.
It will also be important for you to get your own separate bank account that is not associated with your spouse. You will need to start saving money for life after the divorce.
If you are a stay-at-home mom/wife and are unemployed, this does not mean that you can not leave your marriage. Depending on the situation, you may still be entitled to a certain percentage of all finances and or assets that were acquired during the marriage. Your spouse may also need to pay you spousal support. Every state is different, so this will be important to discuss with your lawyer.
The bottom line is, you must start looking into your finances now. Start learning about the household income and debt, and start budgeting for the divorce, along with your living expenses after the divorce.
If you are new to budgeting, then a good place to start is the 7 baby steps created by author Dave Ramsey in his book The Total Money Makeover. In this book, he gives step-by-step guidance on 7 steps to start saving money and pay down debt. This will help you stay on track with money as you are going through the process, and get you prepared for any financial challenges that may arise.
If you already have a budget but want to figure out a way to start growing your money, then it might be a good idea to put your money in a high yield account so that it can accumulate interest.
A company that has helped me expand my income is MyConstant. MyConstant is a multi-market peer-to-peer lending credit platform based in the US. It offers two different investment products with interest ranging from 4% APY to 9% APR. You can lock your money away for 1-6 months for the best rates or choose anytime-withdrawals for flexibility. There are no fees, 24-7 customer support across email, telephone, and social media.
MyConstant also provides a free library of resources to achieve your financial goals, fast. Learning how to start investing on various levels has helped me grow my money quickly and expand my lifestyle options.
Learning about your finances for the long-term will give you more freedom and help you live a life that you enjoy.
The third biggest mistake women make when going through the divorce process is allowing their emotions to dictate decisions.
So many things probably led up to getting a divorce, including possible infidelity, abuse, financial issues, and the list goes on. However, the divorce process must be handled like a business transaction and emotions must be taken off the table.
This means you don’t need to be too nice or too angry when dealing with important topics such as child custody, division of assets, selling the family home, payments of debt, or any other legal ties you have with your spouse.
If you feel that you will not be able to keep your emotions in control, then ask your lawyer to handle all communication with your spouse. You may also need a supportive friend or advocate outside the situation to help keep you stay calm and remain rational.
If you are not already in therapy, you should find a therapist during the proceedings. A therapist can give you a perspective of the situation to help you calm your emotions and stay grounded in the present moment.
Whether you are still in love with your spouse or extremely angry, your emotions can ruin your chances of having a fair settlement and calm divorce.
Divorce is not an easy process and can make even the most level-headed person feel out of control. However, it is still a legal and contractual process that can adversely affect your entire life. That’s why it is so important to avoid these 3 big mistakes that could turn a bad situation worse. Be open to getting legal, financial, and emotional support on this journey as you go through the process.
Ready to start the process of gaining more clarity, confidence, and courage? I have created 3 simple steps to help you on your journey.
Don’t let more time pass by, reclaim your life today!
Tiffiny has a B.A. in Psychology, and master’s degree in Public Health Education. She worked in consulting for over 16 years, as well as previously owning a fitness and health business. In her personal life, she used personal development, mindset and health strategies to go from being overworked in a demanding corporate career, emotionally drained in a toxic marriage, physically unhealthy, and depressed to becoming an award-winning figure level bodybuilding athlete and entrepreneur. As a women’s empowerment coach, she works to help women get clear on their goals, build confidence, increase self-esteem, take action on their deep desires and create a life they love