Advice for dating your exhusband

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Don’t separate until after it arrives, so it will be community property.

Think about Social Security: If you’ve been married nine years, you might want to stick out the last year, so you can collect on your ex’s earnings record.

Remember: there’s nothing like new knowledge and a fulfilling career to bolster your self-esteem. Engage a forensic accountant if you think there might be hidden assets. Hire a divorce financial professional to help determine the best settlement options for you.

Don’t skimp now on matters that will affect the rest of your life.

View your attorney as a paid professional rather than a friend or confidante. Women tend to be supportive and sensitive to the needs of others, to build bridges, and to “make nice.” These tendencies often get in our way during divorce. You have to insist on getting what you need and deserve. If you don’t, you’ll still be able to take care of yourself financially. Use this time of upheaval to start taking control of your life.

When your grief is overwhelming, go home or to a friend’s house, not to your attorney, who is billing you at his normal hourly rate. Even if you hope that you will eventually be able to reconcile with your ex, don’t bend over backwards to make it happen. Vow never to worry in the dark—if you can’t sleep, turn on the light, pick up a pencil and paper, and write down your worries.

Make property division decisions based on your own long-term best interest, not out of revenge. Make an effort to bring the divorce to a successful conclusion with as little rancor as possible. Then, you can go back to sleep and deal with them first thing in the morning. Many women put their careers aside to concentrate on their families.

Also, copy records that you can use to trace your separate property, such as an inheritance or gift from your family.Finally, don’t just pack your bags, load up the kids, and drive away in a car that needs four new tires. The three most important words during divorce are: document, document, document.Before you separate, buy the clothes you’ll need, perform maintenance on the car, and fix the kids’ teeth. Try to obtain copies of all financial records before your divorce begins.Studies show that in the first year after divorce, the wife’s standard of living may drop almost 27 percent while the husband’s may increase by as much as 10 percent.Many factors combine to lower women’s standard of living after divorce. Expenses will begin to mushroom as soon as the divorce process starts.

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