Divorce Goals

Uncategorized Jul 24, 2020

Do you know what you want, what you really, really want from your divorce? A catchy jingle isn’t it, thank you.

In this day and age, we are encouraged at every turn to set goals, to revisit these goals and to keep ourselves accountable. Even my 3 small children are required at the start of each school term to take stock and write their goals down:

  1. What would they like to achieve;
  2. How will they do this; and
  3. Who or what can help them get there!

It’s imperative when you are considering a separation to take some time to really consider what you want your divorce to look like. Break it down.

Right now, if you are in the early days, you might be thinking, “I just want him/her back” or “I wish this wasn’t happening to me”. I ‘d encourage you to think a little deeper, look a little broader. What do you want things to look like 12 months from now, 5 years down the track and perhaps even a lifetime away.

It is the bigger picture that we need to focus on. Once you know what you would like this to look like, we can work backwards from there. The decisions you make in the early days creates the foundation for your future. Take some time, there is typically no rush (unless your children are on a flight to Abu Dhabi or your bank accounts have been cleared out).

I’m a big believer in putting pen to paper or tap away on your keyboard to your heart's content. Think carefully:

  • What is keeping you up at night?
  • How do you want your children to look at how you managed your separation for them?

I also love a mindmap. Its simple, you could start with something a little like this!

It is these big ticket items that are really the most important. Once you have set your goals and interests, prioritise them. Yes, number them from 1-10 (or beyond). When I do this exercise with clients, I am reminded that every divorce is different, we all have different priorities and perceptions, however, some of the common goals I see are:

  1. For our children to be happy and healthy
  2. To be financially stable
  3. For us both to be able to move on with our lives
  4. To have a civil relationship with my ex

In laying that initial foundation, you can then equip yourself with the skills and resources you need to build the balance.

Now I appreciate this may seem a little strange, but once you have your goals set, it might be worth chatting with your former partner about their divorce goals. Yes, you just might be surprised that despite your separation, you have similar thoughts on how the big picture should look.

My tops tips in the early days are:

  1. Talk to a trusted (sane and rational) confidant.
  2. Consider what information/documentation you might need to gather.
  3. Check-in with your kids. They will be feeling your pain (and their own) and keep checking in with them.
  4. Think about what professional help you might need, your GP can be a great starting point.
  5. Step away from the keyboard (unless you are setting your ‘divorce goals’ of course). Take a break from social media.
  6. Don’t forget to look after you. Walk, talk, eat well and sleep. Sounds simple I know.
  7. Focus your time and energy on the issues that will have the greatest impact on you and your children.

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