Most marriages begin as a fairytale, yet not all those fairytales have a happy ending. Some become never-ending nightmares. And for some, the nightmare continues long past a divorce.
Divorce is one of the most painful of life’s events. Regardless of the factors contributing to the divorce, it can be both traumatic and emotional. The end of a marriage can have a significant impact upon your overall attitude towards life. The loss of a relationship can be similar to suffering the death of a family member, with emotional ups and downs, self-doubts and loneliness, as well as health problems.
Stress and anxiety are known to be precursors to health conditions and ailments, making work duties, the raising of children, and managing life’s affairs even more difficult.
Stress can lead to a myriad of health issues such as headaches, obesity, depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, a weakened immune system, digestive problems and other conditions, according to a study published by Science Daily.
There are several healthy coping strategies that can help you through this time of transition:
- Journaling. Writing is a great way to express your thoughts and get your feelings off your mind, and onto paper.
- Talk about it. Friends are important resources for you during this period. Spend time talking with a friend you trust, who is a good listener and cares about you.
- Don’t isolate yourself. Get out there and attend lectures, concerts, events – any event that will take you out into the world and engaged.
- Do the things that make you happy. Simple pleasures such as reading a book, gardening, going on walks or other activities that take you out of your home are helpful. Seek out groups that match your interests, and join up.
- Get outside and get moving. Exercise is has been proven to be one of the best stress-fighters. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise eases the symptoms of depression, as well as improving your overall health and sense of well-being.
It may be difficult to view a divorce other than as the failure of a marriage. Take the viewpoint that you have the opportunity to create a new life – and you have full power over what you do with it. It is important to remember that your divorce does not define you. Stay focused on what lies ahead, and take advantage of the opportunity to create the life you want. You may be surprised to discover what your future holds – even a new relationship that will bring you joy.
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When you were unmarried and lived with a significant other, it may have been relatively easy to split your things when you both called it quits. Maybe he got the DVD boxed sets and you got the cookware. Although you knew you’d miss watching endless episodes of the X-Files, you knew you had the better end of the bargain with the pots and pans. Undoubtedly, there was a bittersweet end and some quarreling about splitting up things, but they were just things. You moved on.
Now you are facing divorce and you’re facing the splitting of things (“assets” they call them) again, but this time it’s harder, more emotional, and more frustrating. Let’s face it, divorce is tough, but many couples have agreed that the splitting of assets during divorce is one of the most difficult steps in the process.
Understand Separate vs. Marital
Many couples assume that the splitting of assets will be straight down the middle with equal financial value. While this might work in some cases, particularly couples who have no sentimental attachment to anything, this is not a practical or common practice.
Separate assets are anything that each spouse owned before marriage. Separate assets can include everything from expensive jewelry to real estate or a car. So, if you got family heirloom from your great-grandmother before you got married, it is yours. Such assets, however, are at risk of being included in marital assets if your spouse became a co-owner of something you owned previously or you deposited money (such as inheritance) into a joint account.
Marital assets can easily be defined as anything that you, as a married couple, owned or purchased together. That means cars, homes, tax refunds, valuable art or antiques, the list goes on. Even if your name isn’t on something, such as a retirement plan or 401Ks, you are entitled to a portion of whatever built up during the length of your marriage.
So, It’s Simple…Just Like That?
In theory, it should be cut-and-dry, but the splitting of assets can make the divorce process an arduous one. What can make the whole process even more complicated depends on where you live. If you live in a state that is considered a Community Property State or Equitable Distribution State, all marital assets are split, 50/50. So while you may try to prepare yourself for “equal” you can’t guarantee that it will be fair.
Preparing for an Asset Split
Depending where you are at, emotionally or mentally, you might be tempted to tell your soon-to-be ex to take at all. Maybe you’re so ready to be out that you don’t care what goes with you or stays behind. Rethink these feelings immediately. There will come a time, probably shortly after the divorce is finalized, that you wish you would have taken the opportunity to split the assets together. Although it can be a difficult process, making a detailed list with your spouse, it’s an important step in coming to terms with and finalizing your divorce.
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