8 Things To Do if You Are Waiting for the New Year to Divorce

Starting a new chapter in life, especially when it involves a significant change like divorce, involves both emotional and logistical considerations. If you find yourself waiting for the new year to officially initiate your divorce, this period of anticipation can be both daunting and empowering. 

While you're preparing for this significant life change, there are several proactive steps you can take to navigate the waiting period. In this blog post, we’ll discuss eight things you can do to be both prepared for the logistics of what’s to come and more resilient to the emotional roller coaster that often accompanies divorce.

1. Start Gathering Financial Information

As the year draws to a close and conversations about finances become more commonplace due to the holiday season, take advantage of this time to collect essential financial information. Engage in open discussions with your spouse about assets, debts, income, and expenses. Keep track of any year-end bonuses and gather documents that might only come annually.

2. Begin Thinking About Taxes

You likely receive important tax information toward the end of the year. Keep an eye out for these necessary tax documents that you may need once you file for divorce. If you are working, consider consulting a financial professional to learn whether you should adjust payroll withholdings in the new year due to the circumstances surrounding your impending divorce. For example, you may have previously withheld more money because you liked having a large refund at tax time. Under your new circumstances, you may need this extra money throughout the year to pay for costs related to your divorce or new living situation.

3. Conduct a Security Screen

Prioritize the security of your personal information by changing passwords to individual accounts, email, and social media. Consider creating a new email account specifically designated for divorce-related communication to ensure your privacy during this time.

4. Open Individual Bank and Credit Accounts

Prepare for financial autonomy by setting up individual bank and credit accounts. Not only is this an empowering step in your divorce journey, having your own accounts can also aid in managing holiday expenses and serve as a financial buffer for potential divorce-related costs in the future. Establishing these accounts early also takes one thing off your post-divorce to-do list and allows you to securely start collecting maintenance or child support payments as soon as agreements are made.

5. Make a List of Divorce Professionals to Interview

Couples who engage with divorce professionals often report higher satisfaction with the outcomes of their decree. Research and compile a list of attorneys, divorce coaches, and financial professionals that will support the outcomes you desire. Seek referrals from trusted sources or, if you are comfortable, gather information during social gatherings. Read reviews on sites ranging from Google to Facebook, and begin to screen professionals by reading their website and blog.

6. File if Needed

When a relationship is strained, the holiday season can exacerbate the pressure, and become a burden to both you and your family. If your safety or well-being is at risk due to abuse or domestic violence, prioritize your protection by filing for divorce before the holidays pass. Your safety should always be a top priority.

7. Engage in Making Memories

Alongside both holiday and divorce preparations, take time for yourself and your loved ones. Engage in activities that bring joy and create positive memories. Start new traditions based on what authentically brings you happiness during this time of year. Seek out the company of friends or simply treat yourself to gifts and experiences that support your emotional well-being. Confide in trusted friends, family, or professionals to navigate the emotional challenges that come with preparing for divorce.

8. Prioritize Self-Care

Finally, amidst the whirlwind of preparations and emotions, don’t forget to prioritize self-care. Notice when you feel calm and healthy in your life and choose more activities that support those emotions. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to certain gatherings that might not feel appropriate with your divorce on the horizon. Prioritize self-care instead of saying “yes” to all the holiday party invitations to ensure that you start the new year feeling energised and grounded, rather than overcommitted or burned out.  

Divorce, as with any major life change, requires thoughtful planning and emotional resilience. By taking these proactive steps while waiting for the new year to initiate the divorce process, you are setting a solid foundation for the journey ahead. To prepare for the financial aspects of your divorce, contact Amy Melander, , who works with couples and individuals facing challenging financial decisions during the divorce process. Amy works to understand your unique priorities, and builds your financial roadmap, helping you make informed decisions for your future. Schedule your free consultation today.