#6 – Gifts Vs Actual/Factual Payments

I know not everything you read on the internet is true, however, one thing I kept coming across while doing my own homework in preparation for court was to see if I was doing what I needed to do to prevent the judge from levying any extra requirements down on me.

One thing I did during the 14 months we were apart was support her more than I needed….monetarily.  Everything I gave her was considered a “gift.”  Gifts are just that.  Like presents at Christmas.

Since the judge didn’t consider that was me supplying her with child support, he bashed me over the head telling me I was lucky he didn’t order me to pay back child support.  Once again, this is an issue your lawyer “should” fight for you.  Since my lawyer did not provide the court with my bank statements showing I in fact did provide her child support…the judge considered it gifts.

#7 – Make sure your decree matches what was agreed upon in court

I recently received my divorce decree from my lawyer and it did not match what was agreed upon in court.  I had to send it back twice just to get the correct verbiage right in order to match what the transcript said.  It was like they took a pre-existing divorce decree and tried to match it with that.  Luckily, I was empowered with the gift of reading…my writing…not so much.  Again I ask you to reference advice Rule #1.

#8 – Ensure you make healthy financial decisions before you divorce

I know some people think money creates happiness.  And for some it does, but when I say make healthy financial decisions, I mean make sure you are buying things you actually need as opposed to things you want.  Although I personally did not make any major purchases in my time leading up to the divorce, it gave me a chance to take a step back and reevaluate what in my life was more important.  Since I became basically broke when she skip town with my kids and all my money, I had to change my mindset, deal, and adjust with the current situation.

#9 – Don’t suffer in silence

Others have been in your position before.  You’re not the only one going thru or have been through a divorce.  Seek help if you need it.  The first few months after she left was VERY rough.  Especially when I thought we reconciled to only be slapped in the face with another set of divorce papers.  Find solace.  It can be a friend, church, the gym, or whatever you want.  For me it was the gym…until I decided to separate my shoulder playing football.  However, I was able to connect with someone who went through an almost identical divorce that I was able to confide in, which helped ease my approach to the divorce.

#10 – Let it go!

What’s done is done.  You, I, nor anyone can change what has already happened.  Divorce sucks.  I learned quickly that I needed to get over it.  You can’t control what your spouse does at this point.  Focus on you and what you like to do.  I actually had this conversation today with one of my co-workers (who is divorced) and we both agreed how nice it is to come home and not be inundated with a “honey do” list.  Don’t get me wrong, I did more than my fair share around the house even though I was the only one with a job.  However, it becomes very tiring when you work all day just to come home and have to deal with the household chores and corralling children.  So I’ll be honest and say…I enjoy the break and the freedom.  I love my children to death and I was (and still am) MORE than willing to be responsible for them but she wanted to take on that responsibility.