(303) 468-5626
10789 Bradford Road, Suite 205, Littleton, CO 80127

The second installment in our “Devil’s in the Divorce Details” series focuses on the crucial question, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

Our work is to examine and help couples solve the emotional and financial questions that arise with divorce. Whereas an attorney is working on behalf of one party in an effort to win the best outcome for them, we want the best outcome for the entire family. Financial and emotional factors cannot be compartmentalized and if approached that way, it could lead to an undesirable outcome for one or both spouses.

For instance, you LOVE the marital home. You shed blood, sweat, tears and a few cuss words creating a garden, painting all the walls and converting your basement into a place to paint and be creative. Deciding whether to stay in the marital home is colored by these emotions and also the financial reality of whether you can afford all of the maintenance and upkeep. If you look only at the associated costs and decide to sell, you will lose the pride and security you feel in your current home. 

Two common objections to starting the divorce mediation process. 

1) I'm not ready to divorce yet

Only by asking questions can we determine that “unprepared” doesn’t mean that you don’t have your paperwork together, but that you’re not ready to deal with divorce emotionally. Or perhaps “unprepared” means you don’t know how to begin the conversation with your spouse. Divorce coaching can help with that. Acknowledge that usually “being ready” is a hurdle that you need to get clear about, and that there are divorce professionals if you need assistance.  

Maybe you go to your friends for divorce help first. When they hear you say, “I’m not ready” they could offer objective advice like, “Here are the documents you should gather to understand your finances” They are confused why you seem frozen in place and don’t want to wade into your sea of emotions. Maybe talking about that is uncomfortable, brings up issues in their own lives or they don’t want to feel like they’re taking sides. Even if they help you sort out the emotional issues, unless they are also a financial advisor, chances are they won’t be able to assist you with that. Your friend’s duty is to just that, to be a friend and you shouldn’t expect them to function as your advisor. 

I'm Scared to Have the Divorce Talk

“I’m just scared/worried” usually means you fear making the right decision. Is the fear personal or do you worry about your spouse’s reaction? Or are you reluctant to end the marriage because you think you should try harder to stay married? If it’s the latter, you may want to try counseling or find a new counselor. Understand that you, and ONLY you, know if you are making the right decision for YOUR life. 

What happens to the person who is “not ready? They bury their head in the sand and ignore the issue. Their health suffers and they continue living a half full life. 

What happens to the spouse who “scared?” They might make hasty decisions out of fear and experience unintended consequences.

Emotionally prepare for divorce

Our divorce coach, psychologist and certified mediator, Suzanne Chambers Yates has created an acronym BEYOND to help you move forward so you are emotionally prepared for divorce.

  1.  B - Breathe: Stopping and taking a breath reminds us that we are competent adults who have tackled many difficult situations in our lifetime.  It also reminds us that we need to engage our neocortex so our reptilian brain (fight/flight/freeze) doesn’t take over.
  2. E - Explore: Spend time exploring both paths (staying/divorce) and what your life might look like 5, and 10 years from now.  Think about barriers & reasons for staying & for divorcing.  What do you want for your life?
  3. Y - You: Your self-care.  This emotional juncture can be draining.  Make sure you are investing in your wellbeing on a daily basis.
  4. O - Organize: Organize your thoughts (write them down) so you can communicate them clearly as the need arises, organize a list of questions you have and information that you need.
  5. N - Necessary: Find the necessary, qualified professional who can answer your questions & provide you with the information that you need.  (CDFA, CDC, Attorney, therapist)
  6. D - Direction: Create a plan based on where you see yourself in the future. Break your plan down into doable steps.

For the second hurdle, not being financially prepared, it’s important to run through all the possible scenarios with a trusted, experienced financial advisor. DRCC's certified divorce financial analysts will scrutinize every area where money is concerned. 

What to Do with the Marital Home?

If you don’t want to give up the marital home, can you maintain it? Not only physically, but will you need to hire help or are you committed to doing it yourself? What stage are you at in life? Do you need to stay in a 2 story home with 4 bedrooms when it is just you? If the mortgage is much cheaper than moving to another single level residence, can you still afford all the associated costs like homeowner’s insurance?

Can You Keep Your Health Insurance After Divorce?

You won’t be able to stay on your ex-spouse’s health insurance so understand your options. Can you afford to get it on your own? Does your employer have a plan? 

Children under 18: Can you support your children without a second income when your parenting time is Monday through Friday and your spouse has them every other weekend? 

Divorce after 50:  Unlike couples that divorce in their early 30’s, you don’t have 25-30 years to rebuild and feel secure in your retirement. “Silver divorce” is more complicated at this stage in life because you don’t have the luxury of “waiting for the market to rebound.” 

Other Types of Insurance You Need to Think About Post Divorce

We mentioned homeowners but there’s also car, life and disability. Most life insurance policies are revocable, meaning the policy owner may change the beneficiary at any time. If your ex spouse will be contributing a majority of money to your children, do you have a backup plan if something happens to them and their new spouse becomes the beneficiary? 

DRCC’s owner Deb Johnson says that financial stress is one of the hardest types of stress to deal with. Her opinion is backed up by research. People with greater financial stress have more symptoms of depression and anxiety than those who aren’t financially stressed, according to a 2013 study published in the journal Anxiety, Coping and Stress. Source

Clients tell us that much of the ‘fear of the unknown’ is gone and they feel more empowered after they begin working with us. 

Ready to Take the Next Step?

The Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado offers divorce financial analysis, divorce coaching and divorce mediation. Each family’s situation is unique and we offer two ways to take a step forward. The first is to schedule a complimentary 20 minute call or we can go into greater detail at our 90 minute initial consultation. Call 303 468-5626 to discuss.

For Important Divorce Documents, Complete the Form Below!

* indicates required

Documents include: Asset Worksheet, Household Goods Inventory, Financial Checkup, Priorities Worksheet and Mandatory Financial Disclosures.

Sharing the same square footage 24/7 can either bring couples closer together or exacerbate already existing problems that were simmering just below the surface. If you find yourself in the latter camp, how do you begin to even investigate your divorce options?

The Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado is committed to helping families divorce peacefully, preserve their assets and create a stronger post divorce family. We're prepared to answer your questions, with or without a pandemic thrown into the mix.

Should I divorce during a global pandemic?

You're running through a litany of questions related to what divorce will mean for you, your spouse, your children and your finances. In light of the unstable economy, you may worry about how to survive on one salary or worse, none if you become, or were already furloughed or laid off.

Our wealth of experience has led us to two questions we believe spouses must answer before they call an attorney or seek the assistance of a divorce mediator.

We delve into these in much more depth in a separate blog post but they bear repeating here.

  1. Do you both want the divorce?
  2. Are you both peacefully and respectfully able to begin the divorce process?

If the answer to BOTH of these questions is a resounding yes, there is no reason you can't start the divorce process during COVID19.

If the answer to either question is unclear, we still recommend you consider what your post divorce life should look like. There's no harm in preparation that takes into account your guiding principles. For example, if you value stability in all matters, you intend for the children stay in their current home.

There is a lot of ground to cover in the divorce preparation process and that's how the role of a divorce coach came into being. We can't say it much better than the ABA, "divorce coaching is a flexible, goal-oriented process designed to support, motivate, and guide people going through divorce to help them make the best possible decisions for their future" Luckily for us, and you, Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado's Suzanne Chambers Yates is a Certified Divorce Coach. 

Based on our experience, we created a divorce checklist on the bottom of our website's home page that encapsulates many of these pre-divorce considerations.

To get crystal clear about your priorities, write them out and be as specific as possible. If you wrote, "to have enough money to pay a mortgage or monthly rent" that makes sense, but have you considered whether your post divorce budget will include the money to continue your children's extra curricular activities?

We also recommend you complete an inventory of your valuable household items with the help of our Household Inventory Worksheet found at the bottom of this page.

The financial aspects of the divorce, which are just as important as the emotional, will be explored in two upcoming video segments on 5/22/20 and 5/29/20 on our page's Facebook Live.

Prepare how you will talk to your spouse and the children about divorce

Before you can answer the two questions above, you must have the tough conversation. Thinking through your "divorce talk" approach is crucial because it sets the tone for the entire divorce process. If you need advice on how to prepare, mediators and divorce coaches have the experience and are committed to a peaceful resolution. Compare this to an attorney who is ultimately concerned with the dissolution of the marriage and achieving the best outcome for the spouse who hired them.

As hard as it may be, you must be ready to listen to what your spouse wants. The conversation will be trying but it cannot be a monologue where you list out all the reasons your marriage should end.

We are available for a 20 minute complimentary phone consultation where we hear your specific situation and let you know about your divorce options.

We also offer a 90 minute session (in person or over video conference) with both parties to dive deeper into our holistic process and preview post divorce outcomes. You will walk away, or step away from your computer in the age of Zoom, being empowered and informed.

If you have other concerns, we can be reached at (303) 468-5626.

For Important Divorce Documents, Complete the Form Below!

* indicates required

Documents include: Asset Worksheet, Household Goods Inventory, Financial Checkup, Priorities Worksheet and Mandatory Financial Disclosures.

ABOUT
At Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado, we have a team of seasoned Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA) who provide a cost-effective, respectful mediation process that allows couples and families to rebuild a secure post-divorce future.
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