What is done during separation may not hold up for divorce proceedings.
Get everything in writing even when happily married, since people can change their minds or show their true colours at a later date. This is particularly important if one’s parents are part of financial investments.
Kate married kind and thoughtful Edmund. Her parents gave her half of the price for their new home to use as their down payment. Edmund readily acknowledged that the parents owned half of the house. The mistake was not having the parents pay the financial institution directly and having their names put on the deed.
Years later Edmund became condescending and thought they ought to live as if in a permanent medieval festival.
He started dressing the part and eschewing modern conveniences. They parted ways and Edmund signed a separation agreement with one point admitting he owned twenty five percent of the home.
When it came time for a divorce, the separation agreement was not binding and Kate was forced to buy him out of his perceived fifty percent share, since there was no official record of the parental contribution.
She had opened a store and had to compensate Edmund for this enterprise as well.
Kate advises having a clean break and making sure that everything signed is final and one spouse cannot come back at a later date to try and get money out of the other one.
The one thing that made her divorce easier is that the children were in their early twenties and custody and co-parenting were not in the picture. She stated that their relationship with their father did not involve her.
Edmund wanted Kate to pay for the divorce, since she had initiated it.
In this situation, try to compromise with an angry spouse. She obtained a fixed price from her solicitor for an uncontested divorce and got Edmund to go along and pay for half.
Kate felt Edmund turned into someone quite nasty and the divorce was a relief, even though she struggled financially.
Sometimes people change and therapy is effective when someone is willing to work on themselves and the marriage. Edmund claimed everything was Kate’s fault and she was glad to escape this situation.
Kate did not realize how stressed and burdened she was until her staff and customers commented how radiant she had become. She jokes that she feels so much lighter since she lost two hundred pounds (Edmund).
What kept Kate’s sanity was having the routine and distraction of her store. She advises even in tough times, having a focus on something else (like her business) helps one to get through divorce and move on. Having a job and promoting her business kept her mind and time occupied so she did not dwell on the past.
Accept what you cannot change (divorce settlement) and get on with life. She has written a book on quilting, does an online program and invents quilting patterns. Teaching classes has expanded her business and she picks fun places, such as an upcoming two day course she will be presenting in Germany.
Reframe how you perceive a situation. Is it the end or an exciting new beginning? Your choice.
Wendi Schuller is a published author who has conducted classes on various subjects. She draws upon her knowledge as a nurse, Neuro-Linguistic Programmer (NLP), and hypnotherapist, providing a blueprint to guide women through this difficult transition. Schuller hired an attorney for a court divorce, but decided to go the collaborative route instead and has worked with a mediator post-divorce.
Author of The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce