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Expert Advice for Avoiding a Long, Dragged-Out, Expensive Divorce | MONEY WITH SUNNY

Divorce can be emotionally and financially overwhelming. That's why I'm teaming up with Sunny Wishart, president and founder of A la Carte Financial and a certified financial planner. We will show you how to understand all things money without feeling ashamed, overwhelmed, or embarrassed. You will learn. Learn more. Ask questions. No Question is a dumb question. Welcome to Money with Sunny. 

In this blog, we discuss the emotional and financial challenges of a long, dragged-out divorce. We will help you learn how to move on efficiently to avoid financial devastation and emotional trauma for everyone involved. We also explore the common pitfalls of trying to make the divorce process "fair" and the importance of negotiation and compromise. For you to thrive in this divorce process, you need to understand the costs of prolonged legal battles and recognize the advantages of focusing on the well-being of your children. 

Why do so many people drag divorce on and on? And what is the cost to them and their families? It's often one person is trying to move on and the other one won't let it happen. Oftentimes the underlying reason why things aren't moving forward is they're trying to make it fair or equal, and that is not going to happen. Maybe it is not about money. Maybe it's because of the house, the kids, the pet, the couch. It could be anything. So because of one person or maybe even both, the process is stuck in one place and that is not an emotionally or financially healthy place to be in.

When transitioning through divorce, it is important to talk about expanding the pie and it is a negotiation, it’s a compromise. What is ideal is if both people walk away feeling like it was okay, it was all right, the goal is we walk away feeling like it was great. That doesn't always happen. But you can walk away feeling like you didn't get burned or ripped off and stung. 

A lot of people get so frustrated and emotionally drained. They are so overwhelmed that they're either stuck and dig their heels in not willing to give up or they throw their hands in the air and give up. These are extremes. It is important to find a bit of a neutral spot where you ask yourself what is important to you and what you are not willing to give up. It is also important to ask yourself what you can do without. Then discussing this with your soon-to-be ex-spouse will help you move forward faster and more efficiently because every day and every month that your divorce goes on will cost you more money. And the last thing that we want to see is financial devastation at the end of a divorce. That's not fair. 

This is not a linear process. But experts like Sunny will paint you a picture of what the reality will look like if both parties or one stay adamant on what they want in the division of assets. This picture can be of bankruptcy, which is very common after a divorce. The picture could be of your house being taken away because that's where it's going. And it can look ugly but it could end up being your reality if you don’t take the right steps. Oftentimes both parties are also fighting for custody of the children because they feel the other parent is unfit. Whether you have money to support these legal battles or not, your children’s safety is most important. If domestic violence or interpersonal violence is part of your home and household, then you need to reach out to your local shelter and authorities. If safety is truly a concern, then that is your only priority right now. But in cases where both parties simply don’t like each other and that’s why they are fighting for the children’s custody, it is important to think about what you’re doing to yourself, your children, and your family by dragging this on. It's about the emotional trauma that you're creating in your life and your children's lives. How do you want yourself to look back on your divorce? How do you want your children to feel about their childhood and to feel about the divorce? Do you want them to look at it as a tragedy or as an adjustment in your family? You can do that. 

You can reach out to experts like Sunny and me and get the help you need. If you’re stuck during the division of assets, we can help you move forward by painting that picture and a worst-case scenario. This process can include understanding what the true costs are that you are currently incurring. Painting the picture for the next few years and adding up these costs to show you if what you’re fighting for is worth that price or not. And you can decide how you want to move forward based on this picture. You cannot control what the other person does, but you can control what you do and what you choose to do.

What you did yesterday doesn't matter. Right now is what matters. And you have the power to change everything. And you can make small changes. You don't have to do everything differently, but it is going to require some work. It is going to require you to think about things differently, look at your situation realistically, step into your reality and just decide who you want to be during this difficult time, how you want to be three years from now, and how you want to look back your divorce and how proud you want to be about the way you handled things. That's the reality. 

I hope this has helped. I want to let you know that you can do this. You're not alone. You are perfect just the way that you are. You are worthy of love. You are important. And until next time. Have a great rest of your week.




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