Harry and his wife had been married for almost thirty five years at the time of their divorce. They had two adult children and had spent quite some time separated before finalising their divorce.
What I wish I’d known:
It may take time. Unless you are in a court process, you are reliant to a very great degree on co-operation from the other side. If they are reluctant to engage or, in no hurry to progress, you may be faced with delay which can lead to frustration. Be prepared to wait.
You may see a side of your partner that you haven’t seen before. Despite best intentions to keep the process amicable, once property and finance raise their heads, it may be difficult to keep things on an amicable basis. Be prepared.
It can be an expensive business and you may have to take decisions based not on what you feel to be right and fair but on what you can afford to pursue.
What I’d do differently:
Don’t procrastinate. Once you are certain that your marriage is over and that divorce is the way forward, get on with it. The longer the delay the more difficult it may become to separate out matrimonial assets as to who gets what.
During the course of the divorce you will hear and read and be given a great deal of advice. Take it all onboard but think things through for yourself, don’t be afraid to challenge and ask questions of your advisers. After all some of the decisions you have to take will have lasting consequences so its up to you to make sure you understand and are satisfied with the advice.
They say that divorce is one of the most stressful things you can go through and they are right, but try not to let it let it take over your life. Keep fit and healthy and find things to do to take your mind off the divorce. It will end, you will come out the other side and as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
And afterwards, when the settlement is done and the finances sorted and the bills paid, when it’s all over – let it go and move on.