If you are on the run up to leaving your soon-to-be-ex, be sure to compile a checklist of important documentation you need to take with you and tick every item off in turn.
Your birth certificate, your passport (and those for your children if applicable), also your driving license paperwork, key ID cards and papers, mortgage details, bank cards, cheque books and your marriage certificate, will be invaluable bits of paper in the months ahead.
You need your marriage certificate to file for divorce in the UK and I suspect in many other countries too.
It is possible to request certified copies of things, but it can be a costly affair and would throw unnecessarily delaying spanners in your works.
When you’re ‘up to your oxters’ (as Northern Irish people say) in divorce proceedings it can feel as though you have too much to do just keeping the normal routine going. It may seem strange to suggest it, but try taking on something new.
Importantly, make it something just for you. One of our team has recently taken to the boards in a play, whilst another has taken up singing.
There is something wonderful about taking part in a shared piece of magic. It can be an art class, a reading group, even joining a darts team, anything that is new and with a different group of people.
Your local library and notice boards are likely to have notices with details, or simply ask around in your newsagents or when buying groceries. Open your mind to something fresh, and the mass of tough things you still have on your list will seem just a little easier to manage.
Simple lifestyle changes can be good for you following enormous upheavals, but it’s not always easy to do a great deal when you don’t have a healthy budget to do so, however, your local library will be delighted to welcome you in.
Libraries are amazing spaces in which to indulge happy silence and that might be one of the things you’re craving amid all the noise that’s surrounding you.
It’s a safe space where you can bathe in the company of others at a comfortable distance and of course, spend time amongst all those beautiful books; what a wonderful way to while away a few hours.
You could probably sneak in a thermos and a few snacks for inexpensive sustenance, just be mindful of your trail of crumbs.
When you are in the midst of the divorce maelstrom it is easy to focus on how awful you feel and what a terrible time you are having. If you have young children, then try to remember to view life from their perspective from time to time.
They have never been married and hopefully they have never experienced anything like the hurt you have. Their experience of the world does not equip them to comprehend your pain.
It’s a safe bet that they just want peace, an end to the angst. Do whatever is in your power to deliver that for them as often as you can. Spend time doing the things they want, being the very best parent you can be. The most precious gift you can ever give your children is your time and full attention.
All too soon they will be grown up and gone and their childhood will be over. Make the most of even the smallest slices of time you get with them.
Trust me when I say, the hoo haa of divorce can get you down before it has started, throughout the real heated stuff in the middle and long after that Decree Absolute has landed on your doormat; oh man, those ex’s can have a lasting sting!
If your day is getting you down, take heed from a tip designed to soothe your senses and calm your heart rate, the natural way.
The colours of the landscape are changing rapidly, with the leaves on the trees turning all shades of toffee brown; they are a joy to behold on their own!
Wrap up warm and seek out a herb garden at a nearby park, a National Trust property or a show garden near you if you are lucky enough to find one and simply sit in the middle of it and enjoy it on every level.
The evocative scent of rosemary and lavender is sure to have a positive effect on you, especially if you run your fingers over the feathery foliage and indulge the oils.
Sage is another wonder, as is mint in all it’s glorious varieties.
If you enjoy what you smell, feel and see, try to create a chill-out sensory zone in your garden or even on the porch if you don’t have any outside space. You only need a few herbs like the ones listed above to get started and you’ll be surprised how powerful the little plants can be.
If you have children together, be sure to make a note on the calendar of every night the children stay with you, or with your ex.
As mentioned here recently, the Google calendar facility is very easy to use and you don’t have to look at it all the time. You can deselect it from everyday view, then it won’t act as a constant reminder of any angst you may be suffering but it’s easy enough to access when you need to update it.
It may seem completely unnecessary, particularly if everything is running along amicably between you and your ex, however, the nicest of worms can complete the bizarrest of u-turns and on the topic of your children, it is better to be safe than sorry.
If child-benefit related authorities get involved, they will want a detailed account of who stayed where and you may also have to provide details to the solicitors too.
If your ex left in a rush, they might also have left you with the responsibility of clearing out their stuff.
Think about the spaces you most commonly frequent in your home and remove the items with the worst associations to your ex, paying immediate attention to your kitchen cupboards.
You probably have countless cups of tea or coffee and just seeing their crockery can physically hurt. If you have unwanted possession of their favourite beverage mug, bowl or snack plate, consider donating them to a worthy cause, or alternatively, if they’ve really racked you off, take great delight in smashing them, being mindful not to get shards on your skin.
One relatively safe and effective way to let off a little steam is to put the items inside a bag then inside another bag, then cover with a towel and bash with something weighty, or let it drop on the floor; be sure to enjoy the resounding naughty smash!
Remove those irksome visual reminders and find comfort in the finality of the process.
If you have an ex who is dragging their heels getting their financial statements in order, it can leave you feeling like you’re a puppet dangling on their string.
You can force the issue along and make them get a move on by filling in a Form A. This is filed at court and they will make arrangements for full financial disclosure to be made by a certain date in the not too distant future and you’ll both have to attend court to move onto the next stage.
It can call their bluff and shift them into action and if the necessary paperwork is completed and submitted back at the court before the hearing date, you will not need to attend a hearing.
You do have to pay to get this process rolling along but to be honest, if you have revenue coming your way, you may feel it’s well worth it just to bring the phase to a close.
If a new love interest comes into your life, but the timing is bad, consider carefully who exactly the bad timing matters to.
If it’s for The They (all those incessantly noisy people connected to your ex), ask yourself where they fare on the scale of your right to happiness.
It’s more likely that if you took up with somebody on the day you left, 3 weeks after, 3 months, even 3 years, you’d be projected into a bubble of shame.
We all have a right to be happy, on our own if we wish or with a partner if we choose and friends, relatives and The They should be less concerned with your timeline and delighted you’ve found what you were looking for.
That is unless their sole purpose is to cause trouble, in which case, perhaps you should reassess their importance in your life and perhaps reflect it in your forthcoming Christmas card list.
I do love a good distraction technique, because let’s face it, when you are drowning in waves of anguish from your divorce, finding anything new to peg your hopes onto is good.
The inspiration for today’s tip arose during this evening’s supper time. The family and I were tucking into a delicious meal of vegan chilli sin carne (i.e. chilli con carne but with no beef). I’d used ingredients that I’ve never used before so I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out but knew that the elements which made up the dish were tasty in their own right; with a fair wind they would combine well and the taste would be good.
Actually, it was delicious and it reminded me of the fun you can have when you throw caution to the wind and just throw a few new things into the pot.
So, my advice today is metaphorical and urges you to move away from the pre-scripted route of dinner or life, whichever you need more and to lay yourself open to happier suggestions.
You might enjoy the menu a little more and that’s no bad thing right now.