Do Your New Year's Resolutions Include a New Relationship Status?
As the holiday decorations come down, often times so does the holiday cheer for many couples. January marks the beginning of what is commonly referred to as divorce season, a time of the year when divorce filings are elevated. If you think about it, this really comes as no surprise given this is also a time of year when people tend to become more personally reflective and create New Year's resolutions.
If divorce is on your mind, here are a few important questions to ask yourself as you prepare for this major decision and life transition:
Are you making a confident decision? This is not a life decision you want to regret. When my divorce was filed, we were separated for about a year following the start of our process and it wasn’t pretty. First we were in separate rooms in the same house until that didn’t work. Then I decided to move out which created the space we needed but in that space, I discovered unresolved feelings and believed we could try again. So we did. For about a year, we pulled it back together and were truly on a path to happiness. We even went on a 10 day road trip! By the time I realized we needed to pick up the divorce process where we left off, I was more than confident in that decision. There was no part of me that wondered “what if” and I believe that any couple contemplating divorce should have that same resolve when pursuing a divorce. It’s a serious, life changing decision. You owe it to yourself and your family to have exhausted all other options before taking a turn on the road to divorce.
Are you willing to own your situation? Just as the professionals hired for a divorce have a responsibility to the case, the divorcing individuals also have a responsibility to their case. So in other words, you are willing to be transparent (and vulnerable) - opening up the kimono and being honest with yourself and the relationship you are dissolving so that your divorce is as productive as possible. Someone who owns their situation during divorce will be willing to disclose vital data and details, be open to answering uncomfortable questions, and will see the divorce process is more about finding peace and happiness for all involved and less about proving points, pointing fingers, or getting revenge.
Are you ready to embrace that divorce is a process? Getting divorced doesn’t happen overnight. In Washington State, there is a minimum 90 day waiting period that begins when the Petition for Dissolution has been filed and served to the non-filing spouse. That means the earliest a divorce could be finalized in Washington States is 90 days following those initial legal actions. Note that state laws can vary on waiting periods. However, the complexities of a divorce case and emotions involved can cause the process of both parties arriving to a settlement agreement to take much longer than the waiting period. You’ll need significant resiliency to see the process from the Petition to the Final Decree. As well, you’ll need a solid team of divorce planning and legal professionals to guide you through the ups and downs.
If your New Year's resolutions will include a new independent and single YOU, let’s talk. I am ready to support your personal transition and help you achieve a sensible divorce settlement that works for you both in the short and long term.
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