10 Steps to Develop Divorce Intelligence
by Sheila Brennan, Divorce Coach
We’ve all heard of IQ and EQ! What about DQ – Divorce Intelligence? If you’ve been through a divorce, your DQ is significantly higher than it was when the journey began.
DQ = Divorce Common Sense. Every day common sense comes naturally to most of us. Divorce Common Sense does not. Listed are 10 tips to develop DQ prior to entering the arena and crossing the finish line.
1. You’ll be on an emotional roller coaster.
Many aspects of your life will change. Some you’ll expect, but others will leave you baffled.
2. The answer to many of your questions is “depends”.
What am I entitled to, can I move out of the house, what if I don’t want to “share” custody with him, what about the inheritance I received last year, do I need permission to take the kids to the next state? So many questions and rarely a simple answer. You’re more likely to hear, depends. You look for a simple yes or no. Is that too much to ask?
3. You’ll find that some things are easier.
Now you’re in charge of everything in the house. There’s no waiting for the trash to get to the curb, the food shopping to be done, and you’ll know if the plumber was called to fix the running toilet. It’s all on you now and in some ways, that makes it easier. There aren’t any expectations.
4. If you share custody of the kids, you’ll have to find ways to fill the time when they’re with the other parent.
It may take a while to figure this out, but there will come a time when you’ll be grateful for the break.
5. You’ll have to become an expert on your finances, for better or worse.
This is such a challenge for many who haven’t handled money in the past. If you think of money in simple terms, it’s not very difficult concept. You don’t have to become an expert on the stock market, just what’s in your wallet.
6. Dating can bring out the best and worst in you.
There are some dates that will be fun and you’ll rip your hair out after others. Dating is certainly not for the weak. A sense of humor is a must when you venture out into the dating world.
7. You’ll need to cooperate with your ex on many issues – and that may simply mean biting your tongue.
Bite your tongue or write an email response but never send it. You’ll learn when it’s important to stand your ground and when to give in. Giving in does not mean being a doormat, it simply is taking the high road when you’d rather not. And in the end, most things don’t really matter a year from now. Recognize the difference.
8. Life gets better and a new normal is established.
And that new normal will have its benefits.
9. You’ll be different!
For better or worse, things change and you’ll be different. You’ll realize what you could have done better and applaud what you did right.
10. Build a team of experts around you – before, during and after your divorce.
Build a support system that you know will be there. “It takes a Village” applies to life, not just raising kids. Learn from your team of experts so you can apply some of their expertise to your new world.
It’s a process and the Divorce Intelligence is gained as a result of the journey. In the end, you’ll be able to add this to your life’s resume.