Nobody gets into a marriage thinking it will end in a divorce. But if the marriage crumbles and you decide that it is not working anymore then divorce advice for women could just end up being the critical piece of information you need.
There are plenty of people ready with post-divorce advice when you are starting life afresh. But very few people can come up with the right divorce advice for women when they are contemplating it and planning to tell their husbands that they want to go for one. A divorce preparation checklist, if you will.
Even before revealing your divorce plans to your husband, the children and your parents, you need to be prepared. With the help of advocate Siddhartha Mishra (BA, LLB), a lawyer practicing at the Supreme Court of India, let’s take a look at how you can prepare for divorce emotionally before you even put pen to paper.
How Should A Woman Prepare For A Divorce?
While you prepare for divorce as a woman, know that deciding to pull the plug on a marriage that no longer brings you happiness isn’t something you should beat yourself up about. Don’t let the divorce regret set in and make you second guess your decision. It’s more common than you’d think since women are now more liberated and realize that staying in a toxic relationship is essentially a death sentence.
Siddhartha says, “Divorce has become much more common in modern life; it is no longer a shameful secret like in the past. The research into the changing attitudes towards marriage found that it is young people who are now most likely to believe that divorce is socially acceptable. Only 56 percent of people aged 18 to 24 said that divorce was taboo, compared to 67 percent of 24 to 60-year-olds.”
When you decide it’s time to go your separate ways, you have to make certain preparations before you take the leap. These preparations do not happen in a day. To prepare for divorce emotionally, you may need anywhere between 5-6 months depending on how the circumstances unfold for you.
The first and foremost thing that you should focus on is your financial stability post-divorce. You have to think of how to leave your husband with no money when you secretly prepare for divorce. Financial help and stability could come from a settlement or your own savings and earnings, but our divorce advice to women is to be financially settled.
How important it is to prepare for divorce financially can be gauged from the fact that between 2011 to 2015, 15,000 cases have been transferred to different family courts, apart from fresh cases. Maximum numbers of cases are maintenance and alimony related, according to Siddhartha. When you are preparing for divorce here are a few things you should look into:
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1. It’s a long battle ahead
Whether you go for a mutual settlement or have to go through a court battle, you have to be able to deal with the pain of divorce. A divorce procedure is a long-drawn process that needs a lot of legal paperwork and there will be hurdles in the way that you have to overcome.
To dissolve a marriage can be a long drawn-out and tedious process. Siddhartha says, “Take it one day at a time. Focus on the present and not the past. Try to control only those things that are within your control. Many things in a divorce proceeding won’t be, but you cannot blow those things out of proportion. Make a plan and work on it to take control of your divorce and not let it take control of you.”
This acts as an especially important piece of divorce advice for mothers. It may look like you’re juggling through more than you can handle, but it’s important to take it one thing at a time, one day at a time.
2. Keep a to-do diary
If you are sure you need a divorce, our most important divorce advice for women is to keep a to-do diary. You need to jot down all the things that you have to do on a daily basis to prepare for the divorce. Tick it when the job is done.
There is often so much to do that trying to deal with divorce as a woman can leave you overwhelmed, especially if you’re also juggling work and home responsibilities and taking care of the children as well. Staying organized is your best bet, and one of the best divorce tips and strategies you could implement.
3. Important divorce advice for women: Start a divorce file
You can have a physical file where you keep all the documents that you would need at the time of divorce. This is very important to streamline the documentation process. Also, maintain a folder on your laptop, or create a Google Doc file, or use apps where you can have access to your documents online.
Of course, this must be done in consultation with and as per the advice of a seasoned divorce lawyer. Without the right legal assistance, you can find yourself at a loss for guidance and proper direction. One of the most important pieces of divorce advice for women, or anyone, for that matter, is to have proper guidance.
4. Financially prepare for divorce by making a budget
Keep accounts of your earnings and spending for at least six months to get an idea of the budget you will need to survive on when you are on your own. You might already be dealing with financial stress, your focus should be how to get out of it.
If you plan on your children being with you, take their expenditure into account. Once the budget is in place, you will know what kind of financial help you will need from your husband. This is one of the most important pieces of divorce advice for women.
Siddhartha adds, “While you prepare for divorce financially, keep in mind that in filing and hiring a lawyer your funds will burn quicker than you realize. Though you may have the support of your family, it is good to ask for maintenance from the court.”
5. Be careful of your e-trail
What you post on social media, message your friends on WhatsApp or who you send e-mails to can all have a bearing on the divorce proceedings. So, be careful on that front. Even the most seemingly innocuous or innocent things can dent a watertight case and tip the scales in favor of your spouse.
The data you share on social media can be used against you in the divorce proceedings. Beware of data cloning on your phone. Many husbands going through a divorce use spyware to keep track of their wives movements.
Siddhartha advises, “It is crucial to pen down communication of any kind, letters, phone calls. These are important weapons to strengthen the case against the husband and especially if it documents any kind of threat or verbal abuse in your relationship.”
Related Reading: 15 Signs Your Marriage Is On The Rocks And Almost Over
6. Divorce advice for women: Build a support system
The first step in leaving your husband is to build a support system. Whether you’re struggling with an answer to ‘how to leave your husband with no money’ or just are in an emotionally vulnerable sport, having people to fall back on can make all the difference.
There will be plenty of people who will come and give you unwanted advice about what is divorce like for a woman, but there will be very few “2 A.M friends”. Weed out the nosy, parasitic people from your life and only focus on those people to whom you will be able to turn for support – whether financial or emotional.
What Are The Rights Of A Woman When Taking A Divorce?
Divorce in the US is under state law rather than federal law. So some of the rules and rights differ from state to state, but here we put together the basic rights a woman has when she is filing for a divorce:
- She can opt for a no-fault divorce when the dissolution of the marriage can take place because of incompatibility in your marriage or irreconcilable differences and there are no allegations or faults involved
- She can opt for an at-fault divorce when allegations are involved and both parties may need a defense lawyer
- Many women are going for collaborative divorce where, with the help of an attorney and a divorce coach, they can take informed decisions about the divorce
- Some women also opt for mediation divorce or summary divorce
- States require you to be a resident of the state for a time frame of at least six weeks to six months to be able to file for a divorce from that state
- The kind of property rights you will have depends on the state you are in. Some states in the US ascribe to the community property system where in case of a divorce the property is divided equally among spouses
- She has a right to alimony if she is not financially sound or gave up her career to look after the family
- She can opt for sole custody of the child or decide on joint custody
The divorce advice for women depends from person to person, state to state. What’s best for you depends on your unique circumstances, contingent on myriad factors like your marriage, your location and your financial situation. Nonetheless, understanding what a woman should know before filing for divorce is always crucial. Let’s take a look at a few tips to keep in mind.
10 Important Divorce Advice To Women
When you decide it is time for a divorce, the first step to leaving your husband is preparing for a divorce checklist. This is our most important divorce advice to women. If you are going for a mediation divorce, then you can also work on a divorce mediation checklist.
If you prepare a divorce checklist carefully then you are very clear in your head what you want, what steps you need to take and what are your weak or strong points in case of a contested divorce. Though you’re probably getting divorce advice for free from friends and acquaintances, their attempts at helping are largely based on the experiences they had. We collated a bunch of objective divorce advice for women, approved by a lawyer.
1. Get a good attorney
Paying through your nose for your attorney’s fees does not guarantee that you get the best. A good idea would be to ask around and find out from people how satisfied they are with their attorney’s efforts during the divorce proceedings and then make a choice.
It’s a good idea to shortlist at least three to five attorneys whose approach, practices and past records align with your goals. Always remember to meet with them in person before you finalize everything. Approach this like an interview to select the best person for the job, especially if you’re trying to secretly prepare for divorce. The clumsier your divorce attorney is, the clumsier your approach will be.
2. Look at your finances
Whatever may be the reason for your divorce our divorce advice to women is to do this in three steps. Save, budget and allot. If you are secretly planning for a divorce, it’s important that you start saving from the moment you make up your mind. Create a survival budget to be able to deal with divorce as a woman, without your entire life coming undone. Allocate your savings according to the budget.
You will need to take into account the attorney’s fees and legal procedure fees. Siddhartha says, “What a woman should know before filing for divorce is that she’s going to need her financial statements, so it’s best to keep them ready. It is crucial to have a firm grip on the financial details of your spouse as well as yourself.
“Be clear about what you owe and what you have accumulated. This includes everything from your income to debts and assets. That means gathering bank statements, mortgage statements, investment accounts, retirement accounts, loan documents, tax returns, etc.”
If the extensive nature of divorce advice for women is stressing you out, it’s important to seek help when you think you need it. Going it alone, especially when you want to secretly prepare for divorce doesn’t mean you deprive yourself of the help you’ll need.
3. Prepare for divorce financially
Most married people have joint accounts and shared expenses. That’s why it’s imperative to start taking concrete steps to financially prepare for divorce.
The first step should be to have your own account and you can take out your portion of the money from the joint account and put it in your savings account. You can close or freeze your joint account if you wish.
Seek help from trusted friends and family, or if your means allow, employ the services of a financial adviser to chalk out the best course of action.
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4. Have your own credit card
If the financial planning in your marriage wasn’t too great, it’s going to cause a few roadblocks, to put it mildly. Sometimes couples have joint credit cards where they spend and pay back from their joint accounts. So if your spouse is overspending, you are paying for it. An important piece of divorce advice for mothers who have been housewives is to make sure you’re in control of your own finances.
Having your own credit card would help you find out your own credit score and that will be also helpful in case you need to produce it in court. You should resolve issues on the credit report and you can also appoint a credit monitoring service for that.
5. Appoint a decision maker
In case something happens to you in the run-up to the divorce or even after that, you can appoint someone to make the decisions for you. It’s similar to going into a coma after an accident and someone has to have the authority to decide to take you off life support.
Also, in case after the divorce, anything happens to you and you are the sole custodian of the children you have to appoint someone to have the authority over them till they are 18. If your children have a godmother or godparents, they will most naturally be your first choice. If not, you can turn to trusted friends or family to be the support system needed in life after a divorce for a woman.
6. Beneficiary of insurance policy and will
While you prepare for divorce as a woman, you are still legally married to your husband, even though mentally you may have moved on. This is the right time to slowly but steadily peel your lives apart. Changing the benefactors of your insurance policy and will is a good starting point.
Usually, the spouse is the beneficiary of the insurance policy. But when you are going for a divorce you would want to change that. Make sure you do it to avoid complications later. But in case you had a prenuptial agreement, then a lot of things have been taken care of already.
Similarly, it’s advisable to create a will too for your assets and savings, especially for the period when the divorce proceedings are on. Of all the divorce tips and strategies, this is something that is often overlooked.
7. Keep a divorce calendar
Keeping a calendar is perhaps one of the most vital pieces of divorce advice for women. Write down court appointments, mention when your husband did not make an appearance or violated an agreement. Write down conversations, mediation meetings, minutes of meetings with attorneys, every single detail.
Also keep track of your children’s school events, doctor appointments and so on. When produced in the court this can show how organized, involved and focused you are. Keeping a divorce calendar is our best divorce advice to women, since it will help streamline all your tasks when it seems like you’re juggling everything at once.
Related Reading: When Is It Time To Divorce? Probably When You Spot These 13 Signs
8. Don’t get swayed by emotions
If you’re the one who has taken the decision to dissolve a marriage, then your husband trying to convince you to make this work is only to be expected. He may swear to change and be better, or may even guilt-trip you saying you’re breaking up the home and leaving the children vulnerable. Don’t let the divorce regret set in.
On the other hand, if you’re too emotionally invested in the marriage, you may find yourself completely blindsided in case your husband decides to seek a divorce.
“Often, women are so blinded by emotions that they neglect the upcoming divorce, even if they sense it. This leaves them unprepared and, ultimately, ruined financially and emotionally. Your life will turn upside down with a divorce, so at least ensure that you are left with enough support to deal with the aftermath,” says Siddhartha.
9. Seek financial support
You are not greedy or self-serving if you seek financial help and maintenance in a divorce. Quite the contrary, if you’ve given up on your career to focus on your family, seeking alimony and maintenance is your right.
Siddhartha says, “If the husband is the breadwinner in a relationship and you a full-time stay-at-home wife/mother, you cannot sustain yourself without continued financial support. A judge may grant a spousal maintenance in such cases. Many factors go into receiving alimony, so your should seek legal advice from a divorce attorney before deciding if you want to request this type of support.”
As you can probably tell by now, to financially prepare for divorce is perhaps the most important aspect of it. The emotional turmoil that you’ll be going through can take a toll on your mental health. When monetary problems are thrown into the mix, it’s basically a recipe for disaster.
10. Research the law
While you’re trying to prepare for divorce emotionally, don’t forget to read up about it as well. Divorce laws differ from one state to another in the US. Researching the law in the state that you belong to will help you understand where you stand. Knowledge is power and it will help you immensely when you talk to your attorney and navigate the courts.
The fact remains, it is easier to get married than to dissolve a marriage. But when the situation demands it and you want to secretly prepare for divorce, our divorce advice to women is to follow the points mentioned above.
Even if she is in an abusive marriage which she is dying to escape from, what divorce does to a woman can leave her drained mentally and physically. But if she prepares in advance she can deal far better with the trauma. Hopefully, now you don’t have to rely solely on all the free divorce advice that you get from friends and family, and instead, get to work with the help of the points we listed out.