**This post has been sponsored by Alexandra Geczi PLLC. All opinions are 100% our own.**
Tucked away on a shelf in my closet you’ll find a dusty box of wedding planning odds and ends.
Dog-eared bridal magazines with pages flagged, demo tapes from wedding bands, wedding invitation proofs, registry lists. And receipts. Lots and lots of receipts.
A year’s worth of planning for one perfect day. An important day, to be sure, but ultimately just one day in a 15-year (and counting) marriage.
I’m sure many of you have your own stash of wedding memorabilia. Perhaps it was the start of your happily ever after. Or perhaps it’s a painful reminder that marriage hasn’t exactly turned out as you planned.
When marriage doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, planned or expected, you may feel tremendous disappointment. You may doubt yourself. You may feel terrified and overwhelmed.
Divorce is legal, financial, and emotional. But like other life events, the key to it turning out well is planning. Planning will save you time and money. Planning will motivate and empower you. Planning will help you make decisions.
Know when you need a lawyer
Do you need a lawyer? Yes. Even if you are your spouse agree on the divorce. And especially if there are children involved.
Why? Because a divorce lawyer can guide you through what can be a stressful, long, and confusing process, and make sure you are not giving up your rights. A divorce attorney can also make sure child support is calculated correctly and increase your chances of getting continuing financial support from your spouse.
Find the right divorce lawyer
Start by asking friends and colleagues for personal recommendations. You should interview at least three lawyers who specialize in divorce and family law before you make your decision.
As a lawyer myself, one of my top recommendations for divorce lawyers is Alexandra Geczi PLLC.
Unlike other high-volume law firms, Alex and her team maintain a caseload that enables them to take a personal interest in each client’s case. They are committed to being responsive to their clients and providing regular updates.
Alex understands that divorce is not just legal, but also financial and emotional. She works with a team of professionals to address all of your needs in the divorce process, including financial planners, counselors, business evaluation experts, estate planning attorneys, career coaches and others.
Understand your finances
It’s an easy trap for a busy mom to fall into.
Overwhelmed with day in and day out demands of taking care of the kids and home, she lets her spouse handle the financial decisions.
While divvying up responsibilities is a natural part of every marriage, marital finances is one area where both spouses need to be in control.
Here’s how you can start taking back control.
Talk to your spouse about the marital finances. Work with a financial planner to get a better sense of your financial position. Gather copies of financial paperwork, everything from tax returns and insurance policies to the house deed. You need a list of all of your assets (house, cars, retirement accounts, etc.) and liabilities (mortgages, car payments, etc.)
Establish a financial identity
If you do not have full access to all the financial accounts, you need to establish a financial identity. Now. Open a bank account or credit card in your own name.
Find a place to live and make a budget
Consider where you and your children will live. You also need to understand what things costs. Compile a list of all of your expenses. Consider your income. Make a plan for what your needs are going to be after you are divorced and a budget to make that happen.
Make career plans
The reality is that many stay-at-home moms will have to return to the workforce after a divorce. This can be a terrifying prospect for someone who has been out of the workforce for years and is now faced with the prospect of supporting herself and her children.
Consult with a career counselor or a vocational expert to find a career that will be both fulfilling and successful.
One reason why I recommend Alexandra Geczi PLLC to my friends considering divorce is that Alex and her team truly believe in the value moms can bring to the workforce. They recognize that moms are incredible organizers, time management specialists, negotiators, and multi-taskers (in addition to being intuitive and innovative). These are all highly valuable skills. Alex and her team work with career counselors and life coaches—many of whom were also stay-at-home moms who went through divorce—to help their clients make the best career decisions.
Get advice from divorced friends. Gather a supportive team of family and friends. Consider hiring a therapist. Check with your church to see if they have support groups for moms and kids going through divorce.
Where to start | Alexandra Geczi PLLC
If you are you wondering where to begin, check out Alex’s guide “Divorce Explained,” which breaks it down and provides an overview of what you can expect in your divorce. For stay-at-home moms or a homemakers worried about divorce, check out Alex’s guide “I Am SAHM, SAHM I Am: A Guide for the Homemaker Divorce,” which provides special insight into your situation when facing divorce.
Dallas Moms Blog readers can take advantage of a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation with Alexandra Geczi PLLC. Just mention promo code DALLASMOMS when you book your consultation. To request your complimentary 30-minute consultation, call (214) 269-4256 or click here.
**Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. The information provided in this guide is not legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.**