Scenario: you are in a bad relationship that you’ve carefully considered and have determined that cannot be saved. Your problem is that you have children that you adore and don’t want to leave. It’s a quandary without a perfect resolution.
Let’s face facts. Long before you accept that you and the soon to be ex are not compatible under any conceivable circumstances, you know deep in your gut that the relationship between the two of you is going nowhere. This is the exact moment that planning should begin. Here’s your template.
Get A Lawyer.
This is the first step, and possibly the most important. Having a competent attorney can determine the all important issues of alimony, property division, and parenting time. Attorneys are your advocates in the court that YOU pay; consequently, one of their main jobs is to make you look good. Not having one is almost undoubtedly something that you will regret. This is where I personally made my first mistake. Pay the money and get a lawyer.
Steady Yourself Financially.
Getting a grip on your finances is almost a factor of step 1. Lawyers cost money, and you need to have it to pay for them. In addition, all kinds of items are taken into account during a breakup, especially if you have children. Economics plays its role as well. Don’t quit your job, don’t stop paying credit card bills, and pay down some loan debt if you can. You might need that credit later; in fact, the messier your breakup, the more likely you’ll need credit. If you have shared accounts, you might have a whole new set of problems, but get a grip of the money that you personally earned.
Lose The Bad Habits.
Warren Buffet once said his father told him that you should never do anything in public that you don’t want to read about on the front page of your local newspaper, and by God, the man is right. We’re not talking about habits necessarily as much as things that might embarrass you. In other words, falling off the barstool in the singles bar trying to pick up your ex-babysitter might not be the best idea. Try not to do that. Instead, consider positive activities that would probably be good for you anyway, especially considering the fact that you are soon to be single:
Taking a class with other similarly situated people (meaning single or that share your interests in some way)
Developing a hobby (reading, writing, and exercising are especially good for the brain and body)
Spending time with supportive friends and family is good, since you’ve probably spent a substantial amount of recent time avoiding them. Reconnect.
Breaking up is hard enough to do; making it harder on yourself than it should be is ridiculous. Do the above three things first and spare yourself unnecessary suffering down the road.