Headed for Divorce? Eight Steps to Preserve Your Family, Your Finances and Your Sanity

Updated: September 14, 2023

During my tenure as a financial manager, I’ve had numerous women turn to me seeking guidance on establishing their financial independence as they embark on the challenging journey of divorce. Witnessing the struggles that some women in divorce face, was eye-opening, but it was my own divorce experience that truly unveiled the gravity of their situation, particularly in those initial stages.

Today, when women in divorce reach out to me seeking not only financial but also emotional support, yearning for reassurance that they will emerge from this ordeal unscathed, I can provide answers borne from personal understanding. Having weathered my own divorce storm, I am living proof that they too will find their way. So, if you find yourself standing at the foot of the divorce mountain, here are some initial steps to safeguard your family, finances, and sanity. Here are a few essential tips:

8 steps divorce

Here are a few starting tips:

1. Prioritize Your Needs

In this phase, identifying your priorities is crucial as it guides your negotiation strategy. Consider various aspects, including property division, finances, spousal and child support, asset allocation, and, most importantly, your children’s well-being. Always keep their best interests in mind.

2. Collect Financial Documentation

Whether you were actively involved in managing finances during your marriage or not, now is the time to gather all pertinent financial documents. Organize records with numbers, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and retirement plans. Aim to retrieve records spanning the past three years.

3. Create a Budget

Develop a comprehensive budget that reflects your previous lifestyle and expenditures during your marriage.

4. Avoid Common Pitfalls

Many women, fueled by anger or fear, cling to the idea of keeping their marital home without considering its actual value. It’s essential to factor in taxes, maintenance costs, and the property’s net cash value before making a decision, as it will have long-term repercussions, spanning 5, 10, or even 20 years into the future.

5. Seek Professional Guidance 

When you feel ready, consult with a lawyer, mediator, or a CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst) to gain insight into the legal and financial aspects of your divorce.

6. Take It One Step at a Time

Preparing for and navigating a divorce can feel like an endless battle. Avoid the temptation to take on too much at once. Focus on tackling one issue at a time to prevent overwhelm.

7. Prioritize Self-Care

The stress of divorce can be all-consuming. It’s crucial to dedicate time to self-care activities that bring you peace and tranquility. Engage in activities you love—go for a run, treat yourself to a massage, take leisurely nature walks, or enjoy a movie night with friends. Cultivating inner peace will serve as your reserve of strength during the most trying times.

8. Find Support – A Financial Safe Haven for Women in Divorce

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Seek out support communities like our MDS Online Community which exists to help everyone going through divorce clear, confident, and with support.  In this Community, you will be able to connect with some of our current clients, former clients, and other professional resources. 

Catherine Shanahan and Karen Chellew

Catherine Shanahan and Karen Chellew, Cofounders of My Divorce Solution specialize in supporting divorcing couples in effectively managing the division of their marital estate.

They strive to demystify the complexities involved, ensuring clients have a crystal-clear understanding of their financial situation.

By providing comprehensive insights into the long-term impact of their choices, Catherine and Karen empower individuals to make well-informed decisions that will shape their future and that of their family.

Their goal is to help each client achieve the most favorable outcome, ensuring their financial security and peace of mind during this challenging time.

Take our FREE Financial Portrait Assessment to learn more about the MDS Financial Portrait and how our services can benefit you and your family.