Setting Priorities During Divorce – A Guest Post by Wendi Schuller
Divorce is a time when one can be scattered. Too many things bombarding us at once. Too many decisions requiring immediate attention. You may feel like you are on a roller coaster speeding along over the ups and downs. How to stop this craziness and get back on track? Set priorities. How to get started?
Make A Check List
What is your most important issue or concern? Or your top fear? For many, it could be housing. “Do I have to vacate the marital home with the children?” When finances are uncertain, the question may be “Will I have to move house in a hurry without Plan B?”
Write down whatever it is. Underneath that, list any resources or ways which you can deal with this issue. You might surprise yourself with options which had not occurred to you before. This is an example, with housing. Temporarily move in a relative’s spare room. Or at a nominal cost, take the bedroom of your empty nester friend whose offspring is doing a gap year abroad. Be creative and think outside of the box when coming up with solutions.
Do the same with the lesser issues. A check list of what is bothering you and what you can do about it helps you to get organised. You feel more in control of your divorce situation when brain storming and coming up with ideas.
What Needs To Be Done First?
Determine what are the most important tasks. Rather than attempting to accomplish many things at once, focus on what needs to be done first. Then second, third and so forth. What is urgent (getting financial records together) and what is less so (deciding which pieces of furniture you would like to get).
Rather than being like a squirrel who goes off the path to check out each shiny object – stay on the path. You can notice each shiny object, just do not get distracted and go after each one. Stay on the path and finish the task you are doing. Yes, task #2, #3, #4 have to be done. Concentrate on which one has the most importance and then go down the list.
During divorce, you may find that your attention wanders. You feel scattered. At work, focus on your job tasks, not on splitting assets. When out with friends, enjoy their company. Focus on what activity you are doing, not on what needs to be done next week. This helps to keep you grounded.
Part of setting priorities is determining your goals. What is a realistic outcome in your divorce? What is it that you want the most? Is it the house? Pension plan? Think about what your priority is when dividing assets – your main goal. Discuss this with your solicitor.
What are your other goals, such as with co-parenting? Is it that the children go to a day school or to a boarding school? Maybe it is that you both live in the same city and not across the UK from each other. It is easier to get details worked out during the divorce process than to take legal action at a later date.
Are you feeling stretched in many directions? Go over personal priorities in your life. What is important? What drains your energy? This is the time to start saying “No, sorry I can’t” a bit more often. You may have to let go of some commitments in order to have time for what is most dear to you.
Do you want to spend more time relaxing with the kids at home? You may have to cut down on socialising to achieve this. Not cut it out, but rather making adjustments. Some people give so much to others that they feel exhausted. Take care of yourself first in this stressful time.
If you are doing too much, what tasks can be delegated at home and at work? Children can pitch in and do more chores. My sons learned how to do their laundry and to cook. This was time-saving with enabling me then to focus on the important tasks of my divorce. One son discovered he enjoyed cooking so much, that he got a degree in Culinary Arts and is a cook at a great restaurant.
Look At The Big Picture
What is it that you crave? Where do you see yourself heading in the near future? Next year? In five years? Are you on the right path? Lowering your stress level helps to get you out of the panic mode. When one is calmer, it is easier to set priorities. There are many avenues – homeopathic remedies, retreats, consulting a health professional etc. to decrease stress and anxiety.
When feeling overwhelmed and not being able to focus, discuss this with your solicitor. They have heard this before and can guide you in the right direction.
Wendi Schuller is the author of The Global Guide To Divorce. She has a series of children’s books with the third, Jack Jack The Cat Loose In London released in October 2020. She is a dating coach who specializes in helping people date after divorce. www.globalguidetodivorce.com
Paradigm Family Law have a team of experienced lawyers to help guide you through the process of divorce, just waiting to hear from you.
If you would like more details on this or want to discuss your family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact James, Frank, Evelyn or Paul. Paradigm Family Law offers a free initial consultation and our fixed fee solutions cover financial proceedings from start to finish. You can call us on 01904 217225 or email us to [email protected].