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Navigating the overwhelming separation process

Most people did not enter a into a marriage thinking that it was going to end in separation or divorce. Moreover, separation can be overwhelming; and, while every separation has a unique set of facts, there are some basic tips that can help you navigate the process and in doing so save you time, frustration and money:

Manage your public presence

When going through a divorce, it’s crucial to be mindful of your social media presence and activity. Here are some things you should avoid doing on social media during a divorce:

  • Sharing details of the divorce proceedings. It’s best not to share personal or legal details of your divorce on social media. Discussions about custody battles, financial settlements or intimate matters can negatively impact your case and may even be used against you.
  • Badmouthing your ex-spouse. Refrain from posting negative comments or venting about your ex-spouse on social media. Engaging in online arguments or publicly criticizing your former partner can escalate tensions and complicate the divorce process.
  • Posting provocative or inappropriate content. Be cautious about the type of content you share. Provocative photos, partying or engaging in activities that may raise questions about your judgment can affect your credibility during divorce proceedings, particularly in matters related to child custody.
  • Sharing new relationships. While it’s natural to move on after a divorce, be considerate about how you portray new relationships on social media. Oversharing your new partner or engaging in excessive displays of affection might create conflict and hostility during an already sensitive time.
  • Discussing financial matters. Avoid discussing your financial situation, assets or any changes in your financial circumstances on social media. These details should be handled privately with the guidance of your attorney and financial advisors.
  • Ignoring privacy settings. Review and update your privacy settings on social media platforms. Ensure that only trusted individuals can view your posts, photos and personal information. However, keep in mind that even with privacy settings, it’s not foolproof, so exercise caution.

Remember, social media posts can have a lasting impact and even deleted content can be retrieved. It’s essential to exercise discretion, maintain your privacy and consult with your attorney regarding what is appropriate to share during this sensitive period.


Get organized

Getting organized for a divorce is essential to ensuring that you have a clear understanding of your financial situation, assets and other relevant information. Here are some steps to help you get organized:

  • Gather important documents. Start by collecting all the necessary documents related to your finances, assets and liabilities. This may include:
  • Financial statements. Bank statements, credit card statements, investment account statements, retirement account statements, tax returns and pay stubs.
  • Property documents. Deeds or titles to real estate properties, mortgage statements, lease agreements and car registration documents.
  • Debts and liabilities. Loan documents, credit card statements, outstanding bills and any other financial obligations.
  • Insurance policies. Health insurance, life insurance and property insurance policies.
  • Employment and income information. Employment contracts, recent pay stubs and any other relevant income-related documents.
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. If you have a legally binding agreement, make sure you have a copy of it.

Create a financial inventory. Make a comprehensive list of your assets, including bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, vehicles, valuable personal property and any other significant assets. Note down their approximate values, ownership details and any associated debts or loans.

Track expenses and budget. Start keeping track of your monthly expenses and establish a budget. Understanding your spending patterns and financial obligations will help you plan for your post-divorce finances.

Establish a separate bank account. If you currently share a joint bank account with your spouse, consider opening an individual bank account in your name. This will help you manage your personal finances independently during the divorce process.

Consult professionals. Seek guidance from professionals such as divorce attorneys, financial advisors and accountants. They can provide expert advice and help you navigate the legal and financial aspects of your divorce.

Safeguard important documents. Make copies of all the relevant documents and store them in a safe and secure location. Consider keeping digital copies as well, either on a password-protected computer or in cloud storage.

Keep a record of communications. Maintain a record of all communications related to your divorce, including emails, text messages and voicemails. These records may be helpful for your lawyer and can serve as evidence if needed.


Get a reliable support network

Having a reliable support network during a divorce is crucial for emotional support, guidance and practical assistance. Here are some components of a reliable support network:

Family and close friends. Lean on your trusted family members and close friends who can provide a listening ear, emotional support and practical help when needed. They can be a source of comfort and stability during this challenging time.

Therapist or counselor. Consider seeking the support of a therapist or counselor who specializes in divorce or relationship issues. They can help you navigate the emotional complexities of the divorce process, provide coping strategies and offer valuable guidance for healing and moving forward.

Support groups. Joining a divorce support group can connect you with others who are going through or have gone through similar experiences. Sharing stories, advice, and encouragement with people who understand your situation can be immensely helpful. Look for local support groups in your community or consider online support groups.

Divorce coaches. Divorce coaches are professionals who specialize in providing support and guidance specifically for individuals going through a divorce. They can help you navigate the process, manage emotions, set goals, and make informed decisions. A divorce coach can offer valuable support and act as a sounding board throughout the divorce journey.

Legal professionals. Engaging a skilled divorce attorney is crucial for legal guidance and support during the divorce process. They will advocate for your rights, provide advice on legal matters, and help you understand the implications of various decisions. A reliable attorney can be a key member of your support network.

Financial advisors or accountants. If you have complex financial matters involved in your divorce, consulting with a financial advisor or accountant can be beneficial. They can help you understand your financial situation, assist with financial planning and provide guidance on property division, tax implications and long-term financial considerations.

Parenting resources. If you have children, seeking support from parenting resources such as parenting classes, co-parenting counselors or child therapists can be invaluable. They can help you navigate the challenges of co-parenting, provide guidance on communicating with your children about the divorce and help ensure the well-being of your children during this transition.

Online communities and forums. There are various online communities and forums dedicated to divorce support, where you can connect with individuals who are going through similar experiences. Engaging in these communities can provide an additional source of support, advice, and a platform to share your thoughts and concerns.

Remember, building a support network takes time and effort. Reach out to those you trust, explore available resources, and don’t hesitate to ask for support when needed. Surrounding yourself with a reliable support network can help alleviate the emotional burden, provide guidance and assist you in navigating the challenges of divorce.


Take friendly advice with a grain of salt

It’s important to approach the information shared by friends or acquaintances during a divorce with caution. Here are a few reasons why you should be discerning when receiving advice or information from others:

  • Biased perspective. Friends may unknowingly or knowingly provide advice or information based on their personal experiences, biases or emotions. What worked for them might not necessarily be applicable or beneficial to your unique situation.
  • Different legal circumstances. Each divorce case is unique and the legal circumstances can vary widely. The laws governing divorce differ by jurisdiction and the specific details of your case, such as assets, children and financial considerations, can significantly impact the outcome. Advice given by friends might not consider these individual factors.
  • Incomplete information. Friends may not have all the necessary information about your situation. They might be unaware of specific legal or financial details that could significantly influence the advice they provide.
  • Emotional influence. Friends may offer well-intentioned advice driven by their emotional attachment to you. While their support is valuable, decisions made solely based on emotional factors might not align with your long-term goals or legal requirements.
  • Lack of professional expertise. Friends, unless they are divorce lawyers or professionals in related fields, may not have the expertise or legal knowledge to provide accurate advice on complex legal matters. Relying solely on their guidance may not lead to the best outcomes.

To ensure you make informed decisions during your divorce, it’s advisable to consult with professionals who specialize in divorce and family law, such as divorce attorneys, mediators, financial advisors and therapists. These professionals have the knowledge, experience and impartiality to guide you through the process based on your specific circumstances.

While friends can provide emotional support and empathy, it’s essential to critically evaluate the advice you receive and cross-reference it with professional guidance. Ultimately, rely on experts who understand the intricacies of divorce to make informed decisions that prioritize your best interests.


Kathleen, founder of Wells Family Law, has been practicing familylaw for over 20 years. Kathleen is committed to helping familiesfind child-focused, creative, and caring solutions for separated and divorce families. For more information about Wells Family Law Services, call 587-356-4342, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit


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