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Take the time to outline a detailed household budget.  This should include a complete list of expenses it takes to run your life and your children’s lives for a given year.  It is also important to outline key expenses you see arising in the next one, three, and five years.

One thing that should never be in doubt throughout the divorce process is that you love your children.  As you and your children go through the challenging times during the divorce it is important to surround your children with family and friends who love your kids and will give them the support they need during this time.

It is important to find therapy for you after your divorce.  And you will find it is definitely worthwhile to find the right therapist - one who is able to help you think through the things you need to think through, listen when you need them to listen, and push a bit when you need a little nudge.

It is important for you to decide the type of attorney that you want to engage as there is a wide spectrum of options when it comes to divorce lawyers.  There are different types of attorneys to handle different types of divorces some are hard-nosed pit bulls and others are collaborative peacemakers both serve a purpose.  Depending on your situation, you will need to determine the type of divorce attorney that best suits your needs.

The divorce process is complex. Educate yourself on the various approaches to divorce - whether it's traditional divorce or collaborative divorce.  That way you can ensure you use the best approach for your situation.  Determining whether to use the Traditional or Collaborative approach to divorce is a personal decision - either way you will end up getting through the process.  However, one approach may be better suited for the dynamics of your situation than the other.

One of the first major decisions is where to live after the divorce.  The challenge with this point is there are a lot of variables in terms of the details of this decision, for example, you will need to decide who gets the house in a divorce.  If you have the option of staying in the family house where you have been raising your children…based on what I have observed, this is the best option at least for the first year (or two) after a divorce is final.  However, keeping the family home that you have been living in may not be an option.  If your home is connected to bad memories or traumatic situations, a fresh start may be best for you and your children.  If this is the case, then finding a place that you can create as your new home is a key point to think through.

It is important to stay consistent with the messaging you are communicating and not to change the messaging just because you are having a bad day.

The messaging does not need to be extensive…it just needs to be consistent.

The important thing is for you to get clear on what you are willing to trade off…what you want to fight for...and the things that do not matter to you at all.  The clarity you have on these points will have implications on your life and your children’s lives.

Identify friends and family who can help you along the way.  They will be a helpful sounding board as you think about the details involved in navigating the process.

There are many reasons that trigger a divorce and the reasons are often emotionally driven.  So, you need to do all you can to…stop…collect yourself…be smart…and approach the process in a very conscious way...trying to take as much emotion out of the process as possible in order to achieve the outcome that you desire. 

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