“The best revenge is to have enough self-worth not to seek it.”
It was the perfect quote to start the podcast. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Audrey Zada on Divorce and Other Things You Can Handle. It’s an awesome new podcast from Worthy, a resource for selling your wedding ring when you’re ready to let go – and so much more. I’m a frequent contributor to their blog because I love, love that they’re more than a helpful service; they’re an all-round helpful resource for divorce, period. Their blog is full of real, no bullshit experts and people who have been in your shoes sharing stories and smart advice; their new Fresh Start Fitness will get you feeling better physically so you can feel even better emotionally, and their podcast is a deeper dive into the rich, practical content they share online.
And while Worthy’s perspective is geared towards women, I think all genders will appreciate the NO-BS description I gave about the (legal) nuts and bolts of getting a divorce. Listen and you’ll get a step-by-step playbook for what to expect. Helpful especially for those of you who are thinking about or beginning this process. You can also scroll down this blog for a few (of so many in this podcast!) of the most helpful pieces of advice that I shared:
This quote is a fan favorite on our Instagram channel, and we thought it was a perfect way to open our first episode with our favorite divorce lawyer, Erin Levine! Erin does an amazing job of clearly explaining everything you need to know about the divorce process, and at the same time she’s so compassionate and thoughtful, it feels like you’re getting expert advice from a girlfriend.
(7:12) Why It’s So Important to Build Your Support System
Keep in mind that the support system you put in place, especially when you’re thinking about getting a divorce, or at the beginning of this process, can really color your attitude toward the process. You might have friends or family that jump to your defense when you’re complaining about your spouse, who perhaps too eagerly tell you divorce is the right option. Or you could be getting the opposite end of that, with feedback encouraging you to just “let it blow over” or “be patient,” when in your heart, you might feel past that point.
Maybe what you want is just somebody to listen to you and hear you and maybe not provide a solution. Get your support system in place, and then talk to these people and tell them what you need in the moment.
The first thing you don’t do is jump on Google and start typing “What is spousal support?” and “How much property do I have to give away?” Put your support system in place. This can be friends and family, and it can be your online community as well.
“Consider your whole self, not just what the practical aspects of your divorce are going to look like, but how you can take care of yourself through the process and how you can move on feeling better than ever before.”
(24:33) You’ll Feel More In Charge of Your Divorce if You Develop a Strategy
“The hardest part is not actually imagining what life will look like post-divorce. Really, it’s trying to live in this transitionary state between marriage and divorce. ‘How will my kids feel when this is all said and done?’ ‘How will my spouse react when I tell her or him I want a divorce?’”
Divorce doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. In the podcast, I recommend four steps you can take to set your strategy that leaves you feeling empowered and in control:
- Establish ground rules with your spouse. To the extent that you can, sit down with your spouse – together or with a therapist or even a wellness coach – and hash a few things out. When will you get divorced, this year or next? How will you agree to go about getting a divorce – lawyer, mediator, or other routes?
- Get a solid understanding of the process. Learn the basics of divorce in your state. Find out whether alimony is an option, learn how the court decides parenting disputes. If you’re in California, check out our Divorce Navigator or Divorce Process Flow Chart for an overview that’s easy to digest.
- Determine your approach. Decide how you’ll resolve issues that come up in your divorce. If you decide you need to “lawyer up” make sure you interview more than one lawyer to find the best fit. If you and your spouse are more or less on the same page about the big things, mediation can be a less costly route. Or you could look at a service like Hello Divorce, and use our DIY tools to do the heavy lifting on paperwork, and just pay a flat rate for mediation, legal or document review services only if and when you need it.
- Be patient. Remember, this is a process, not a sprint. Indulge in self-love and self-care and pause and really consider the impact of your decisions thoroughly before making big decisions. Care for yourself, and tap your support network you’ve carefully curated when you need them.
(40:24) The End Isn’t Quite The End, Just Yet
When you get your divorce judgment, take a deep breath: the hard part is over. (It’s okay to pop the champagne.) But there are a few loose ends you’ll want to be sure are tied up:
- Retirement accounts. Just by mentioning your retirement accounts and how you plan to divide them in your divorce judgment is not good enough – that won’t actually divide the account. You’ll need to work with a financial specialist and/or your plan manager(s). More on that here.
- Maiden names. As with retirement accounts, simply stating in the judgment that you intend to return to your maiden name won’t cut it: you’ll need to visit the social security office and the DMV to resolve that. Instructions for restoring your maiden name are here.
That’s just a taste of what we covered in a little under an hour, and I encourage you to listen to the entire podcast. In fact, subscribe to Divorce and Other Things You Can Handle and you won’t miss a minute of thoughtful, real, practical advice and guidance that will help you navigate to your next chapter.
Welcome to “Divorce – and other things you can handle!” a branded podcast from Worthy, dedicated to celebrating women like you as you embrace a new beginning after divorce, separation or whatever. We’ll be hosting our favorite experts on dating, parenting, finance and career, so make sure to subscribe so you can enjoy it all with us!