Posted by on Jul 23, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

How Will I Make Ends Meet?

Once you compile all your lifestyle expenses on paper and then learn a swift calculation will determine your percentage of post-divorce responsibility, the sensation of fear (and fury) can be a doozy. I will never forget how I felt when I realized I’d be penalized for my diligence and success, and my ex would be rewarded for his penchant for leisure. While married, there was no way I could force my ex to work any harder than he was willing to work; yet being responsibly oriented, there was also no way I could let our financial bottom drop out. So, I worked hard. And at the end of the day, when it came time to go our separate ways, that calculation paved the way for his continued cakewalk and did the opposite for me. The law here in NJ did not consider industriousness vs. lack thereof. It didn’t care that I went to great lengths to work extra so my ex could grow his business for many years. Basically, a simple math equation determined a percentage, with zero regard for circumstance or behavior.

This unfairness can send an otherwise stable person into an emotional tailspin. It can push buttons that cause explosive anger. It can create conditions for loss of control. At all costs, literally and figuratively, it is essential for you as the higher earner to keep anger in check as divorce proceedings get underway. Go to the gym to blow off steam. Be sure your lawyer is resourceful and available. See a coach or counselor to help you manage emotions. Whatever it takes.

Know this, it is very important to have as clear an understanding of what lies before you as soon as possible. That may mean downsizing your home, or fewer dinners out, or a less extravagant vacation. Lifestyle adjustments may become necessary. Does that stink? Sometimes, yes. But there may be wonderful unexpected surprises these changes can bring about, so be open to possibility.