5 Shades of Green involved with Divorce

 

As we approach Saint Patrick’s Day and women continue to rave about the book 50 Shades of Grey, I thought a conversation about the 5 Shades of Green involved with divorce may be a good topic.

1.  THE SICK GREEN

Over the years there have been too many people who sit in front of me, ready to file for divorce who are physically sick. No one has thrown up in my office – yet – but I have strategically placed trash cans just in case.

The sickness comes from finding out their partner has cheated on them, wiped out their savings account, or just unhappy in the marriage for no particular reason. This does make people sick.

On the other side, I have the client who has done the cheating, spent the family savings or just wants out, not knowing know how to approach the topic or isn’t ready to change their life forever.

Regardless of your position, education about the divorce process, some quality time on your own in self-reflection and preparation, and probably a couple girls’ or boys’ nights out with Vol. II of my “love ‘em or leave ‘em” CD will help bring your color back to normal. Playlist

2 – THE GARBAGE GREEN

Everyone has garbage in their life or relationship. How you deal with the trash and take the trash out is often reflective of how you will handle your divorce.

Did you closet the fact you are gay? Do you have abuse or control issues not discussed before or during your marriage? How did you handle problems within the marriage, were they buried or were they blurted out in a hateful manner? Where was the blame being shot, your partner or you?

If you engaged in any of these I will see you in my office. Garbage stinks and some choose to throw away the entire marriage instead of just the problems.

The opportunity for counseling should always be attempted before calling attorney. Counseling can help individuals and relationships before the garbage begins to mold and has to be thrown out. I encourage you to take that step and never be embarrassed you need some help.

I have plenty of resources to help individuals, couples or families seek counseling.

After all attempts to dispose of the garbage fail and divorce is still the answer, know this process is for closure and not to use your garbage against one another or as an excuse for the demise of your marriage.

3 – THE MONEY GREEN

Inevitably money and family finances – whether a division of significant assets or the consideration of the filing of joint bankruptcy because of marital debt, the money green is always a significant part of your divorce.

Everyone enters this process scared of what they will lose or how much they still need to survive. There are usually child support issues, considerations of maintenance, and of course how much are you going to spend to fight about all of it.

In complex situations or those situations where one party has managed the majority of family finances, I suggest that they meet – as a couple with a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).

CDFAs are specially trained financial experts who assist the family with the division of debt and assets. They establish new budgets for the separate households and work on forecasting their separate futures.

This is so much more than credit card debts and dividing the 401k.

  • Can you afford to keep the house or do we need to sell it?
  • What division of assets has the least amount of tax issues?
  • Is a greater take in the home equity wiser than taking maintenance?
  • Is there a small business that needs to be valued for a determination of marital interest or is there a different resource to equalize the situation?
  • Is there still a way to jointly save for the kids’ college without ruining us financially now?

It doesn’t help to have lawyers litigating over your financial wants if you have not determined what is in your financial best interest.

Consider calling a CDFA right after you call an attorney but before the litigation begins. If you are in need of a CDFA please call me for references or look at my resources page.

4 – The GREEN of ENVY

Divorce is a very lonely process – no matter what side you are on. No longer being married – no matter how that looks for you – you are likely sharing your children or experiencing your first holidays without your family as you’ve known it. Through divorce you can lose some of your friends who feel obligated to take sides and the extended family you had just a short time ago.

I have clients who sometimes would rather be back in the marriage than deal with this new identity and isolation. Others wish they had the relationship with their kids that their ex does – or at least seems to have. Some are even jealous that their ex has a better or more caring attorney than they do. (just sayin’)

However green the grass appears on the other side, focus on you. Find your strength and create the lifestyle you want – with your kids, your friends, and even your ex. In a weird way, that shared parenting time should be your greatest gift to yourself. Take time to be the person you want to be – without anger, without self-deprecation and certainly without envy of others.

5- THE SPRING GREEN

This time of year brings new everything. We spring clean, the grass and trees begin to turn green and in divorce, once the agreement is reached or the Court makes its determination a new spring in your life begins.

I wish for all of my clients to find real closure through the divorce so their new life really is their springtime. While I stress to my clients that divorce doesn’t end everything – especially with children – living a new life, blossoming into a new you and springing back to life creates a new you – happiness can be found again.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.