Michelle and her husband of 28 years have separated and have just settled on their financial agreement after dividing their investments. If you have read my book The Jelly Bean Jar, you would know l break divorces into three categories: A Your decision, B Partner’s decision, C Joint decision. Each of these categories has different connotations for the partners, involved, and that is why ‘no two divorces are the same.’ Depending on the class you fall into will depend on your emotional state. How long it takes to recover, and ultimately the team of professionals l engage to best deal with your circumstances. Ultimately this team with help to achieve your seamless outcome from your divorce journey.
Now getting back to Michelle, she falls into category B. Michelle had no idea, her husband was unhappy. She was ill prepared for the disaster her life was to become when he asked her for a divorce. The couple had worked hard all their life and had two adult children. Together they had acquired a property portfolio of four investment properties around Australia and owned their own home. They both have substantial superannuation and if they had stayed together retirement was only a few short years away. Feeling frantic about her future Michelle, found out some months later her husband had a new partner. The ex-husband remained in the family home, and she moved out and was renting a two bedroom unit. Her hopes, dreams and wishes for an enjoyable retirement out the window in four words….I want a divorce. Not to mention the reality of being alone and scared about what her future holds.
Over the last six months, my team and l have been working with Katie. Katie has lived in the same house with her husband for the past thirty years, and the couple has two adult daughters together. They have had a turbulent relationship, but like most of us, they continued to work through their ups and downs hoping for peace and memories of what brought them together to endure. Their connection, however, got to the point of no return with accusations coming from both sides. Until one day, Katie’s husband decided he had, had enough and wanted out. Such a massive decision after dedicating yourself to each other for three decades.
No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. Sometimes a relationship we think is perfect can be anything but, for the couple involved. I never form any judgement on the people l work with; I just want to see them move on with dignity and pride and be empowered to find strength and the willingness to continue living with joy and happiness in their lives. Looking in the mirror and taking responsibility for the mistakes they have made, and then using that wisdom to preventing the same issues arising in other areas of their life. However, l have witnessed a trait which has worried me. A trait which can cloud people’s decision making. Having them react in a way, you would hope they could control however emotions take over, and their actions can have lasting effects on their futures.(more…)
Have you sat there, with this feeling of worry? How the F&#k will I survive?
Survive Separation with my top tips. Don’t know about you but l knew l needed to move on, it was time, nothing was going to change and if anything l felt like l had tossed the situation around in my mind for that long, it was exhausting. I was tired, and every day I became increasingly bitter at what my life had become. Was l doing the right thing? Could l fall back in love after everything had been said and done? Maybe l could live in this loveless marriage for the kids? Could I settle for a life which no longer fulfilled me? I continually came up with a reason why I had to stay, yet my stomach and soul told me something different. There was no way l could continue to ignore what l felt, it was affecting my health.(more…)
Can you pinpoint the moment you knew everything was going to change?
At some stage, you get to the point of no return. When the words are said, and you cannot take them back or forget you heard what you heard. Sometimes the venom in how the words are delivered is enough to rock your world, and we can retaliate without even thinking. How did our life come to this? How did my dream of happily ever after turning to the nightmare I am now living? The options are yours; you can continue to ignore the miserable existence your life has become or address it head on with the help of a team of experts, like my Army of Angels.
I once heard this story and it resonates today.
There once was a man who lived in a small village and one night in his sleep an angel came to him in his dreams.
When we fall in love and decide on our life long partner, never do we think, it could one day fall apart.
Leaving us heartbroken, vulnerable and feeling alone. I remember once going to my clairvoyant, as l was always looking for answers to why my universe didn’t feel aligned. Sitting opposite me, she explained how she knew her husband would one day cheat on her yet she still married him. I found this interesting given her ability to prevent the pain associated with his betrayal. Instead, she spent 11 years with him and had two children. When l questioned her choices and queried WHY she answered directly. I would not be the person l am today nor would l have two beautiful children, if we did not get married. She went on to explain, they had many wonderful times, and she was filled with love when she recalled the memories.
Did you know there is a science to a successful divorce?
Before even considering contacting a lawyer, it is important to understand which of the following categories your relationship breakdown falls into. The reason being is how you act and respond to your partner due to the hurt and emotions of the initial breakup and how it all played out. This history will impact on your behaviours and decisions. In my business, we look at each of these categories and consider the emotional needs of our clients. It is so important to treat every divorce differently as conflicting emotions are involved, and our client’s needs are unique to their situation. There is no cookie cutter formula when dealing with a divorce, and no two divorces are ever the same. That’s why it is so important to look at the merits of your circumstances in isolation and not think it possible to get the same outcome as a girlfriend or family member. Reason being you are not talking apples for apples. The costs involved from this point forth and the collateral damage caused all starts with how the breakup occurred.
This is about the story of Jane which I will describe as corporate to centrelink. This week I have been introduced to a lovely woman. A woman and mother. Who is caring, intelligent, articulate and smart. Who was completely unprepared for what has occurred in her life. Let’s call this woman Jane.
Jane could be any one of us.
She went to school and is highly educated. She had good jobs and was employed at a management level. Jane did contribute to society and to those around her. She got married to the man of her dreams and had children, from the outside everything looked NORMAL. Then one day after a marriage that lasted over two decades and Jane doing everything she thought NORMAL, things changed. Her husband wanted a divorce. Completely unprepared, Jane found herself in a situation she never expected.
The shock and stress were incredible, but she needed to continue for her children’s sake.
During her marriage, Jane had allowed her husband to control the finances and make the decisions on their MONEY. They lived a good life never wanting for anything as they were both well paid. But the decisions Jane’s husband was making were not in the best interest of the family or of Jane.
They rented, (and there is nothing wrong with renting if you put your money into investments like myself and many others do.) And from what l can understand lived a life of abundance. Now abundance can come in many forms, and I strive for abundance. But buying possessions which do not go up in value and are just filling a void is not a sound investment strategy. Spending money on eating out and entertainment when there is no money in the bank is ridiculous and dangerous.
Now let me be clear, this was not Jane’s doing. She was in a relationship whereby her husband had total control over the family finances and was later explained to Jane, she was financially abused.
Abuse in a relationship can come in many forms.
But ultimately it is all about control. How can you divide assets at the end of a relationship when there is none. I am sure she now looks back and can see the signs of controlling behaviours and wishes she had done things differently.
I am not here to judge just point out the facts. This scenario is not unfamiliar to me, or the Angels l work with. In a healthy relationship, decisions are discussed and agreed upon jointly.
You must plan for the future or otherwise you PLAN to fail.
It is as simple as that. Thinking that tomorrow will be all right but not putting any structures in place to protect your future is like driving your car in the dark and not putting on your headlights. A crash is bound to happen.
we MUST teach our daughters and granddaughters that finances are important
they must be our priority
we must we have financial literacy
we must have what a colleague and girlfriend calls ‘ A Freedom Fund.’
Why would you need ‘A Freedom Fund’, if you are in a happy, healthy relationship?
Easy, none of us knows what is around the next corner. It may never be used. But the sense of peace knowing that you have choices because of that fund can make such a difference at a difficult time. I have also seen this fund used when an unexpected life event has occurred. And let me be clear right now, this does not need to be a secret fund. You can tell your husband or partner all about it.
If your relationship is strong and healthy, he will be OK, because he knows it will never be needed. It could be called ‘the celebration fund’, and after your 70th birthday, and a successful marriage the money could be used for a once in a lifetime trip to celebrate your lifelong relationship. Whatever you feel comfortable with. Being prepared is not something you should shy away from or be worried about. None of us knows what our futures hold or how it may turn out. Sometimes, like Jane, you never expected to be where you are right now. Having always done the right thing yet life throws a curve ball you never saw coming.
Jane is currently dealing with life on government support. She is a courageous woman who now wants to stand up for all of those women in her situation. She has strength to keep going for her children, and hopefully, will get her through.
For me, while Jane tackles this ever growing issue of women in their late 40’s -50’s struggling to survive and living from day to day. I see that if we address the issue at the start of a relationship and help our daughters, maybe others can learn from Jane’s story and prevent the issues of poverty by being involved in our financial futures.
This is easy for me to say as l am not in a controlling relationship. But if the signs are there, you need to do something before it is too late. Think of Jane and her situation, have a conversation, and if you get shut down, this is a warning sign. Address your concerns before becoming homeless and living with depression I could never imagine.
I wish Jane all the best, and I am here to help any way possible. In this situation, if Jane wants our help, my business will look to find Jane employment and help get her back on her feet anyway possible. I have attached a Newspaper article about her current predicament and if you are reading this and are in a similar position, just know you are not alone.
About the author:
Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, whose business is to facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’
Tanya provides a step by step process which limits cost and conflict that sees you achieving your most financially beneficial outcome possible, now and for the future.
Tanya is also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company. She helps her clients budget and plan, rather than wondering if you can keep the family home.
The 8 Lessons Learnt from Divorce to Limit Grief & Save Money
Not only in my business but from my own life experience, uncertainty can be what makes us feel FEAR the most. When your life starts down the road of relationship separation and ultimately divorce proceedings, there is no rule book.
This can increase our uncertainty and FEAR.
These are the reasons, I formulated my method which can be followed to prevent mistakes. Dealing with women every day who are emotional and unsure of what lays ahead I have put together a list of issues which may arise.
What other women say;divorce divorce divorce divorce divorce
Make sure you have a credit card in your name only and some rainy-day funds put aside. You don’t want your husband to cancel the card, if he is the primary account holder. If you are a stay at home mum with little of no income getting a credit card can be difficult.
Financial survival is one of the main reasons women stay in unhappy relationships. They have no way of surviving if they leave. This means prep work before you even consider flying the coup.
Don’t leave the family home, if possible. If you leave your home, it is very hard to get back in. This can make your life extremely difficult moving forward.
You may want to choose to keep the house or it can also be used as a negotiation tool for settlement. If for instance, the property needs to go on the market because your ex wants to move on and needs the funds, it will need to be kept clean and tidy for sale.
Your home is also in a lot of cases your greatest asset and getting the best price important for your future financial security. If you have children, they will want their belongings and the warmth of their bedroom as they deal with the changes occurring in their lives.
Don’t look back and never have second thoughts. As part of my research for my book ‘The Jelly Bean Jar’ it was incredible how many women talked about their decision and if it was the right one…. often having second thoughts.
I am a big believer in listening to your body and not your mind. The feelings in the pit of your stomach don’t lie. If something doesn’t feel right, it normally isn’t. Listen to your instinct as it is a survival guide.
Your children may hurt you without even knowing. They are also in flight or fight mode. Everything in their life has changed, and they are looking to protect their feelings and a secure future.
There is no doubt they will do the unexpected and say something you never thought possible. Just remember, they are not aware of the whole story and love both their parents.
If you are seen to be talking badly about your ex, they will see this as a betrayal. The kids still love their other parent and you are in away attacking him.
So take it from me….. don’t say anything except the positive. Being the bigger person will protect your relationship with your child or children, and they will love for it in the future.
When you think you have mentally reached the bottom, there will be further to go. At a certain point, you will say to yourself, ‘I can’t do this anymore!’ Believe me, you can, and you will.
You will find the strength needed but didn’t know you had. Then one day, will sit back and wonder how you survived.
If you think your ex would never do something, think again. I wish l had a dollar for every time I heard, ‘I never thought he could do that to me.’ When two people are emotional and listen to others, sometimes they do things that they later regret or you never thought possible.
But at the time it seems like the only way to hurt their ex-partner. Clear thinking just doesn’t come into the equation. They are hurting so they want their partner to hurt just as much, and this happens by taking the action you never thought possible. So always be prepared for the unexpected.
The cost of hiring a lawyer and knowing that if something doesn’t feel right, you can walk away and hire a new lawyer. Sometimes, the pressure and intimidation felt when dealing with a lawyer leaves us thinking we need to continue using their services. But that is untrue.
Like any service, a professional provides, if you think it costs too much or taking too long to settle, walk away.
Sometimes the right client goes to the wrong lawyer.
And not all lawyers are the same. This is one of my determining factors for success and why my business takes the time to know each clients needs and outcomes, so we can align the right lawyer with the right client.Before moving on, make sure you address all your baggage.
This is a mistake l see repeatedly. People moving on before expressing the reasons their last relationship failed. Relationships are hard work, and I often say falling in love is easy but staying in love is hard.
If you actually want to succeed and don’t want to make the same mistakes twice, make sure you have counselling and take a deep dive into your part of the relationship breakdown. Address the hurt and anger you feel otherwise it can eat you away.
And the last thing your new partner needs to hear, is you continually regurgitating what your ex did and what a terrible person he was. For a relationship to succeed it must start on level ground not on rocky soil.
About the author:
Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, whose business is to facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’ Tanya provides a step by step process which limits cost and conflict that sees you achieving your most financially beneficial outcome possible, now and for the future.
Tanya is also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company. She helps her clients budget and plan, rather than wondering if you can keep the family home. If you need help and support in this area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help and advice.
She is also the author of ‘The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering independence through Divorce’. If you are looking to prevent any mistakes and save money this book is a must. Purchase your copy here