“At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure.”- Eric Cummings
Going through a divorce can be a very challenging part of someone’s life. Not only does the process typically engulf a large portion of time, it can also take a toll on the mental health of one or both parties. People make decisions under pressure that they sometimes regret after they have time to come to grip with what is going on and make an educated decision, especially when it comes to fiances. Here are some common financial mistakes that people make while going through the divorce process and how to avoid them.
- Marital Debt: Marital debt typically gets split 50/50 during a divorce, even if something is only in your spouses name (with a few exceptions ie. student debt). However, that does not have to be the case. Debt can be settled outside of court, but it is still much better to get out of debt is much as possible before divorce. Your financial situation is about to change so you don’t want 50% or possibly even more of that debt following you. If you don’t try to alleviate debt prior to divorce, at least don’t get yourself in more during the process!
- Keeping the marital home: Just because you want to live in the same house, or even because you “get” the house in the divorce does not mean it’s a financially good decision to keep it. Paying the same bills with only one income is not going to be easy and may not make much sense financially if your putting all of your money into your house. The marital home will, also, remind you everyday of your prior marriage so it may make the most sense, financially and emotionally, to start fresh.
- Spending sprees: Although many people want to reinvent themselves after divorce, don’t do it at the expense of your bank account. A new hair cut and some new clothes maybe, but don’t buy that car that costs as much as a house just because your single now.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. ” -Steve Jobs
The short answer is nothing…nothing is okay to post. Divorce is an emotional roller coaster and in the heat of the moment you are going to want to let off some steam on facebook, twitter, instagram (or whatever else your social media vice may be). However, this is most likely going to effect you negatively. What you post on social media is never really gone, even when you delete it (yes, I’m also talking about snapchat). Even if you think your facebook is private there are always ways for your posts to be seen and they can be used against you when it comes to settlements and/or litigation. Oversharing can also effect your professiobal life as well (does your boss really need to know you caught your husband cheating by going through his dirty clothes?). You also do not want your friends and family reading your negative comments about your soon to be ex because it forces them to pick sides. Social media can be a great support system to connect with people and ask for advice. If your mad or sad feel free to share, just don’t be specific and overshare because that can lead to even bigger issues.
Summer is almost here! Soon the kids will be out of school and they are going to think that you are their personal entertainer when you’re not working. If your kids do not go to summer camp, and even if they do for a few weeks, you are going to be looking for things to do to keep them entertained. Here are a few of my favorite suggestions for the Northshore area:
- Peabody Essex Museum: The museum is 10-5 every Tuesday-Sunday (closed Mondays except Monday holidays) and children under the age of 16 and all Salem Ma residents are admitted free (even if you work in Salem and show the museum a pay stub you will get in for free). The museum was definitely created with kids in mind and exhibits are always changing so you will never run out of things to see and do! Plus it’s a great way to beat the heat on a hot summer day. http://www.pem.org
- Salem Willows: The Salem Willows has definitely seen better days, but it still has plenty to do to keep the kids happy during the summer. Go to the beach, have a picnic (or get a chop suey sandwich or some fried clams!) play some arcade games, go on the carousel, mini golf, and of course the popcorn! http://salem.org/listing/salem-willows/
- Appleton Farm Ipswich, Ma: Appleton Farm is a great place to go on a hike. There are plenty of different, shady trails, as well great spots to picnic (or get some delicious food from the farm store!). There are also animals for the whole family to see and enjoy (baby cows!). The trustees put on different activities throughout the summer, including a kids summer camp, so check out the website for all the latest news and updates. http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/north-shore/appleton-farms-grass-rides.html
“I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave person is not one who does not feel afraid, but the one who conquers that fear.” -Nelson Mandela
“There is no such thing as a “broken family.” Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.” – C. Joybell. C.
Even though pets are considered to be part of the family, they are considered to be property in the eyes of the law. Courts do not award joint custody of pets like they would for a child. Whoever bought the pet would be granted custody. This can be extremely difficult to cope with.
Sometimes it’s best to let your ex-spouse have possession of the dog because the animal will always remind you of him/her. Getting a new pet can be a great way to start a new life and help with some of the loneliness. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not living with someone (many people actually prefer it)! However, having a dog or cat eager to greet you when you’re out of work will ensure that you’re never truly alone.
I prefer to adopt dogs and cats from the shelter. However, that is not for everyone. If your buying a pet from a pet store there are some warranties mandated by the state of Massachusetts. All pet stores must be licensed and have that license displayed in view of the public. Veterinarians must examine all pets 7 days prior to purchase, and stores should not sell any pets they know to be ill. However, it is still going to happen. In Massachusetts, there is a warranty which requires the buyer to have his/her pet examined by a veterinarian no later than 14 days after purchase and allows the buyer to return the pet for a refund or a new pet as long as they have a notice from the veterinarian and do so within two days of the examination.
When you have children and are thinking about divorcing one of the first things you worry about is how this is going to effect the kids. Staying in a bad marriage “for the sake of the children” is definitely not the answer and can actually cause more harm than good. However, it is very important how and when you break the news of the divorce to them. It is likely a moment they will remember for the rest of their lives.
- Put a lot of thought into the time in place. You don’t want to bring it up during an argument or when your kid(s) are already having a rough day.
- Tell the whole family at the same time. If you tell an older child first the word will likely get around before you get the chance to break the news to everybody and you do not want your youngest finding out from their siblings.
- Write out what you are going to say first.
- Be honest about the situation (within reason). Make sure your kids know that you were in a happy marriage, but people change and are sometimes happier when they are not together. It doesn’t mean you love them any less and you will always still be a family.
- Make sure they know this is not their fault.
“Divorce is one of the most financially traumatic things you can go through. Money spent on getting mad or getting even is money wasted.” – Richard Wagner