Nicole Mayer knows firsthand about the challenges of going through a divorce. The Life Transition Specialist and partner for the financial firm, RPG, Nicole went through one a few years ago and understands the gut-wrenching sadness, fear, and anxiety that divorce brings. But Mayer not only survived her divorce, she is thriving, and now wants to share her personal and professional experiences to help others.
Mayer hosts divorce education workshops on the second Saturday of every month.
Whether you’re thinking about a divorce or in the middle of one, learn how to avoid the common legal, financial and personal pitfalls of divorce from a team of qualified professionals, which include an attorney, financial planner, therapist and others.
Below is a guest post that Mayer wrote, and touches on some of what she’ll be discussing!
5 Mistakes to Avoid While Going Through a Divorce by Nicole Mayer
Not Taking Care of You…
One of the benefits (there are not many) of going through a divorce is the “divorce diet.” All of a sudden you lost those 10 to 15lbs you’ve wanted to lose for the last 5 years. While you might enjoy your new body, not eating, not sleeping and struggling emotionally is not healthy and can take a toll on your physical health, including your immune system.
Don’t make the mistake of not taking care of you. Get into a routine with a healthy diet, a good exercise plan and yoga. The last thing you need while going through this major life transition is to become physically ill. A healthy body gives you a healthy mind and a healthy mind lets you make decisions more clearly.
Not Addressing your Spending/Budget…
This is the time to get real about your finances. Whether you always handled or you never handled the family’s finances, now is the time to educate yourself and see where all the money is going. Things are going to change financially, so the more you know about your financial situation the better equipped you are going to be when you are negotiating a settlement and when you get your settlement. Don’t wait. Waiting sometimes makes the situation worse. Know how much and where you are spending your money. You may want to make a list of your expenses on paper. You’d be surprised at how many things you may have forgotten! With that information, you might be able to make some minor changes that will help you live your life better when you are done with the divorce.
Putting Too Much on Social Media Can Cost You…
There is no doubt you are going through a roller coaster of emotions. That first night out downtown with some guy hitting on you felt great! You are still wanted by men and you want to show the world on Facebook or Instagram. Or, you decide to buy a new car or take a vacation while all this legal stuff is going on and you are mourning the loss of your 15 year marriage. All of those things are great and maybe you should do them. Just don’t go posting it on Social Media! Keep a low profile. Everything on Social Media is permissible in court. You never know how some picture or caption you put can be used against you during your divorce. Just remember there can be many interpretations of a picture or something written. The same concept applies in emails or texts. Whenever you put something in writing, ask yourself, “How would I feel if a judge saw this?”
Not Getting Professional Advice…
Your girlfriends are great and they all have a friend of friend who experienced divorce. Your friends are important, but let’s face it; they’re probably not giving you professional advice. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting a therapist. Regardless of whether or not the divorce was your choice, you will be on a roller coaster of emotions. A therapist will give you the advice and coping mechanisms you need to have a healthy mind during this brutal time.
Also, invest in working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) to help you understand your financial picture. Your attorney is NOT a financial person. Getting 50 % isn’t always fair when taking taxes and other factors into consideration.
Lastly, get a second opinion on your legal counsel. Don’t hire the first attorney you meet with. Meet with many attorneys — you need someone who hears you and you need to like their strategy. Trust your gut. If you don’t feel completely comfortable with him/her, do NOT hire them. There is no shortage of attorneys out there. Trust me.
Acting on Emotion…
One the biggest mistakes you can make while going through divorce are to act on emotion. The reality is that your soon to be ex is going to send you some unpleasant emails and texts. You will get calls from your attorney that won’t be pleasant. Going through a divorce is like being on an emotional roller coaster.
If you’re mad or sad take a breather. Journaling how you are feeling is a great way to soothe your pain. Do NOT send that text or email or call him screaming or crying. You need to pull it together and take everything inside of you to act with confidence and class. Run things by your therapist. You will be shocked how a few hours and/or a few days will give you so much clarity instead of reacting immediately based on emotion. Divorce is a game of your patience. You need to be smart, calm and collected so you can make the best decisions for you and your children that will ultimately lead to a brighter and happier future.
Nicole Mayer, AIF, CDFA is a Life Transition Specialist and Partner at the financial firm of RPG. A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary and a member of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners, Mayer has won several awards in the field of Wealth Management. To learn more: visit the RPG website.