A change is as good as a rest. Is that the right quote?
I’m infamous for my jumbled up quotes and did I just think that one up-isms. Infamous to me anyway., ideally I’d like to think I’m known for my epic cooking skills (I’m not) or the ability to command a dance floor (again, I’m not). But let’s say for argument’s sake, that’s the right quote and in this instance, I didn’t make it up.
And the change on this occasion is quite a biggie., I’m talking D.I.V.O.R.C.E and finances to be exact, where everything money wise is thrown in a pot then divvied up.
It should be quite simple, in theory.
As divorces go, for me, the finance side was relatively bump-free, but it was still an uneasy conversation to have. Everything is laid bare, there are full financial disclosures and I’m not going to lie, I hated the exposure. It always feels a little uncouth talking money. and suddenly I was sending all my bank statements and having to justify my spending to a virtual stranger, which would then be scrutinised by my ex and even more strangers.
Time for a rethink
But I did what I always try to do when faced with challenging negative situations. I looked for the positives, using the opportunity to change my financial outlook rather than stick with what I had always done, that change which would be as good as a rest, or so I was led to believe, and I could use it as achance to reassess all my outgoings. Everything got a shake-up, I switched energy & broadband suppliers, I cancelled TV packages and reviewed the insurances I didn’t need. The whole experience was surprisingly cathartic. A total fresh start, I’d recommend the same to anyone just facing the same situation.
There’s never a one size fits all with divorce. All the advice you get from friends and family is great, but you have to be mindful of your own circumstances. Single parenting support websites, such as Gingerbread were invaluable too. Its so easy to bury your head in the first few months, but unfortunately, finances are something which needs addressing straight away. Take my house, for instance, I wanted to keep my family home if only for a couple of years, to maintain some sense of normality for the kids.
Not even knowing if it was an option, my solicitor advised me to find out the value of my home first and foremost and take it from there. Handy online calculators give you a ballpark figure to work from before you get in the professionals. There was an option to stay in the family home until my youngest was 18, but for me, that didn’t give me the closure I needed, or my ex-husband a chance to set up his own home.
And be mindful
I had been warned not to treat my solicitor as a friend, they’re a business providing service. However, do use them for advice, of course, that’s what they are there for, but you need to be honest from the start that you want everything sorted as quickly and as cheaply as possible. And for all those people who have contacted me for advice or if you’re in this situation right now, please remember; leave any ill-feelings at the front door and never make a big decision on a temporary emotion, especially when tackling the ugly subject of divorce and finances.
This is a collaborative post