Going through a divorce is, to put it mildly, an unsettling time.
You’re probably going to have a lot of doubt – doubt in your ability to make good decisions, doubt when trusting other people, doubts about life and your place in it.
Which means you’ll have a lot of questions.
Like, a lot.
A veritable blizzard of them.
And they’ll often be framed within an acutely emotional context. Some are powerful, but ultimately irrelevant:
– What will people think of me?
– What am I going to say to people?
– What’s going to change?
Others are less pressing, but relevant:
– Should I buy a new car?
– What am I going to do when I don’t have the kids?
Still more are huge, impossible to answer except, maybe, in retrospect:
– What now?
– Who am I as a single person?
– Can I do this?
– Am I enough?
– Where’d I go wrong?
Now, I can help with some of the questions in the blizzard (the ones about money, mainly!) but I’ve found that it can often really help people going through a divorce to be selective about the questions you answer.
By being selective, you pick and choose what questions shape your thinking at any given time.
It is, of course, easier said than done, but by focussing on these 10 questions, you can limit the distracting influence of the other 9,990 can have on your day.
Where you are in the process will influence the questions you choose, so I’ve broken this list down into three key parts of the divorce process:
1) The Separation
2) The Settlement
3) The Single Life
1) THE SEPARATION
a. Are you safe?
b. Where will you live?
c. Where will the kids live?
d. How much income do you need to live?
e. Where will this come from?
f. Who do you have to tell?
g. Who do you want to tell?
h. What needs to change?
i. Did it change?
j. Is this going to be permanent?
2) THE SETTLEMENT
a. Are you safe?
b. Who’s your lawyer?
c. Do I have the full financial picture?
d. What income do you need to live (now and in the future)?
e. How will custody work?
f. Do you want the house, or the super?
g. What do you want?
h. What will you/can you/must you compromise on?
i. Will I have to change my lifestyle?
j. What will be your Circuit Breaker?
3) THE SINGLE LIFE
a. Are my kids ok?
b. Am I ok?
c. Can I do this?
d. Who am I now?
e. What life do I want – now and in the future?
f. How can we co-parent?
g. Do I want to meet somebody new?
h. Have I protected my family?
i. What legacy do I want to leave my kids?
j. What’s next?
Over the next few weeks I’m going to go through each of these steps and talk about how you might approach these questions – and the value that might come from never having an answer for some of them.