Getting divorced can be a confusing, life-altering, and emotionally-draining time. It’s even harder when you don’t know where to begin or even what to ask. There are so many things to think about and do, and it gets overwhelming. Today, I’m sharing 5 things that may not be on your radar that you should do TODAY.
- Change your passwords. The two of you have a lot of shared history together. You may even have a shared email address or Facebook account! Are stored passwords in the laptop he has? Do your passwords use nicknames and special dates? I remember the first thing I changed (after he moved out) was our keypad code to the house. I changed it to something that actually had meaning to him and I had always mocked. Something about that irony felt funny to me.
- Create a new email address. While you’re updating those passwords, go ahead and create an entirely new email address too. If things get contentious, you’re going to want to find as much privacy as you can. With many providers, you can just have emails forwarded into the same account to view. I have multiple Gmail accounts, but when I’m looking on my phone, they all come into the same inbox.
- Remove your ex from your emergency contacts. Make sure that as you call up your medical professionals (Doctor, Dentist, Therapist, etc) that you remove your ex as your emergency contact. Make sure that your ex can no longer access your personal information. This one isn’t necessarily urgent, but it’s one you could easily forget about, so you’re better off doing it now. Additionally, make a note to yourself to remove your ex as your beneficiary. In most states, you cannot do this until you are legally divorced.
- Always write out your texts and emails as if the judge will read them aloud in court. Be as objective as possible. I don’t want you to learn this one the hard way. In the early days, we’re either very trusting and open or things are a hot mess with insults and tempers all over the place.
- Get a planner. This was one of the greatest tips I got when I went through my divorce. I had a small daily planner where I notated everything: the times he failed to show up for the kids, the times I thought he was intoxicated, when he lashed out at me, comments from his friends and family that supported my case…the list goes on. Use it to log any issues that come up with your ex. Having a record of every time he bails on the kids or fails to do something he says will help you so much when it comes to court proceedings. Take time everyday to update your planner – you have so many moving parts that things will quickly get away from you if you don’t do this daily.
Divorce is never easy on anyone, but having some guidance along the way can make the experience a lot more bearable.
You’ve got this!
These tips are an excerpt from my new book Divorce: Easier Said Than Done and it comes out at the end of March.