When it comes to getting a divorce, what you do to prepare for the case is almost as important as what you do during the case itself. While you may find that there are aspects to a divorce that she ultimately experiences that were unpredictable, I can tell you that making sure that you are prepared for a case is as important as many of the things you do once the case has already begun. With that said, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on how to adequately prepare for your divorce from the perspective of additional items that you may purchase to make the divorce easier for you or anyone you know who is going through a divorce.
For starters, one thing that I would point out is that your divorce may be quite a bit different than your friend or neighbor's case. This doesn't mean that their perspective is that you cannot rely upon what that person has to tell you about their experiences or what you are likely to experience. All it means is that you need to be who you ask about divorce and be aware that their circumstances may differ somewhat from your own.
Gift #1: a yellow legal pad
This may seem like a redundant gift, but I can tell you that it is important on levels you may not understand. Yes, a yellow legal pad is not something that is expensive and is not something rare. But as a practicing attorney, I can tell you that I've gotten more use out of a yellow legal pad than just about any other piece of office supplies, fancy equipment, or anything else. Still, I have been able to utilize my years as an attorney. The fact is that the legal pad is ubiquitous with practicing law, just as an orange ball is in playing basketball. I can't imagine an attorney practicing law without one.
As such, I think it is important for someone considering a divorce or child custody case to be familiar with this type of supply. The fact is that I would not bother going through with the divorce or child custody case unless you are prepared—prepared means having a plan and goals for your divorce or child custody case. I can see you wandering into a family law case, but you will never wander out of a family law case with your goals intact unless you have a plan to accomplish those goals. It may sound overly simplistic, but the best way I can conceive of imagining goals and developing a plan to reach those goals is on a yellow legal pad.
Gift #2: a subscription to Uber eats, Uber, or any other side hustle business
When I recommend a subscription to one of these services, it is not to utilize their products. Rather, it will be to be able to use these services to land a second job or side hustle. Divorce in child custody cases can be expensive, and I think it is worthwhile for you to have multiple streams of income during a case. The second stream of income does not have to be fancy or a long-term job for you. Rather, you need only have something temporary which can suit your schedule as the needs may change over time.
Having a flexible side hustle where you can work when you need to in as often as you wish will suit you well both for a changing job landscape that you may be experiencing in your primary job and the changing world of your divorce for the child custody case. Having a second stream of income is a terrific way for you to plan for your divorce or child custody case and to bear in mind the changing nature of your life if your budget were to change due to a change in income or the loss of a spouse. Sign yourself or a friend up for these services and watch your income increase as a result.
Gift #3: a pair of walking or running shoes
While it may seem like your entire calendar is full after the beginning of a family law case, the fact is you can always make time for what is important to you. Spending time with your family is important. Being able to spend sufficient time on your work is important. Need I remind you that your health is also important. Being able to exercise consistently is critical to your ability to not only succeed in your divorce or child custody case but to succeed in your life after your case has come to a close.
It is not difficult to perform research to show that attorneys themselves are among the most unhealthy people based on careers in our country. The stressful nature of our work, the responsibilities that it entails, and our own lives impacting our work schedules all lead to my belief that the legal field encourages bad behavior and unhealthy decisions.
If you can buy yourself a pair of good walking shoes, you could avoid many of these problems. Exercising even on a mild or moderate level increases the productions of hormones that are proven to increase good feelings in your mind and help you to get over stressful or negative periods that you may be experiencing in your life. Something as simple as a trip to the sporting goods store can cause you to save money on things like therapy or mental health treatment. This isn't to say that there is no place for mental health treatment from her professional, but exercise can often substitute in many cases.
Gift #4: a cookbook and a nice casserole dish
Cooking for yourself helps you save money and is healthier for you. This is a truism that we all know. Yet, how often do we find ourselves unprepared for dinner each night after work, school, or any other activity? The unpreparedness leads us to rationalize a trip through the drive-thru or a quick stop at your local restaurant. All in all, eating out is not only convenient but oftentimes tastier than making a home-cooked meal. However, that doesn't mean that simple planning cannot prevent you from needing to resort to eating out more often than you would like.
That is why I say buying a cookbook or simply having a schedule for cooking can make your life a lot better during your divorce and getting into your post-divorce life. In the immediate sense, it saves you money. As we have already talked about, it will also help you eat better and consume fewer calories on average. The main thing that gets in between most of us in eating better, in my opinion, is planning. If you prepared your meals in advance or had a plan on what to cook each night, you would be less likely to eat out, in my opinion. That is where a cookbook can be helpful. If you are excited about eating out of your cookbook for Matt will bring about a lesser need to resort to stopping for the drive-through. I'm not saying to eat out, but simply eating in can save you time and money a lot of times.
A point that I make to my wife all the time is that by the time we go out to a restaurant or sit in the drive-through, we could have prepared a meal at home that cost less money in less time. True, the meal may not have tasted as good, but in some situations, it is OK to sacrifice taste for something that is better for you and helps out with your pocketbook. Consider the different options out there as far as cookbooks, and you can do a great thing for yourself or a friend by purchasing one. This may not be the first gift that comes to mind for a person going through a divorce, but I can tell you that it can and will be beneficial.
Gift #5: a new watch
If you're anything like me, then you may have noticed that being on time is a lot easier when everyone is meeting digitally rather than in person. Rather than having to drive and meet up at a location when all you have to do is click a link in your email, you can get to a meeting much easier. With in-person meetups becoming more normal as the pandemic begins to wane, you may find yourself in a position where you are unaccustomed to the routine and preparation involved with actually attending meetings in events in person.
If the event is a dinner at your mother's house, then being 10 minutes late probably isn't that big of a deal. However, if your event is mediation or a court date, 10 minutes late can be a huge deal. To emphasize the importance of time in punctuality, I think the gift of a watch would be a subtle reminder that we all need to be cognizant of schedules and staying on time in a post-pandemic age. It may take a little effort, but a fashionable new watch could be the check some people need to get back on track with their schedules.
Gift #6: a gift card to a music subscription service
Divorces are stressful. You probably didn't need to go to a family law attorney's blog to figure that out. With that said, music can go a long way towards helping you relieve stress or productively process your feelings. Since we're all spending a great deal of time on the computer these days, I can think of no better gift for the music fan than to be able to utilize a subscription service to access new music and generally unwind after a difficult day.
You may even find new musical interests during the pandemic or your divorce that lead to a lifelong love affair. Imagine discovering a new musical artist during your divorce and then being able to see their life in concert after the pandemic comes to an end. This is entirely possible in the subscription you purchased for yourself, or another person could be the key to that happening in real life.
Gift #7: a comfortable new desk chair
At the beginning of a divorce, I always recommend that clients go on their computer and begin to organize their files and make copies of documents that may be helpful in their divorce case. It is common to request discovery from you're opposing party in a divorce. Much of these discovery requests are based on financial accounts, investments, and retirement accounts. Therefore, you may have old statements or documents kept on a home computer that you may lose access to at various points in the case. As a result, I recommend you access these documents when you have time by using your comfortable new desk chair.
It is completely worth it to organize your documents ahead of your case rather than do so during the case itself. Not only will it save you time to do it before your case begins, but it will likely save you money. Keep in mind that any assistance that you need from support staff or a member of your attorney's office will end up costing you money. It is better to perform the legwork yourself rather than to rely upon the assistance of your attorney's office if you can all help it.
Gift #8: a map to all of the parks in your County
A great way for you to bond with your children and enjoy free time with them at little to no cost involves going through the County parks in your area. I am not telling you that you need to become an avid outdoors person, but I am telling you that enjoying time outside with your kids is typically very memorable. If you have concerns about losing your bond with your children, why not take this opportunity to develop a new interest with them or to pursue hobbies that you already shared.
You and your kids can plan to take advantage of the parks in your area based on their ages. Your younger children may enjoy playing at the park or on playground equipment. On the other hand, your older children may want to go hiking through the forest or at the beach. Why not take advantage of the opportunities you have to spend time with them? You can worry about your case anytime, but the time you have with your children will likely be limited.
Gift #9 and gift number 10: thank you cards and stamps
My last two gift recommendations are tandem items. Without a doubt, if you expect to make it out of your divorce case in one piece, you will need to rely upon the help of others. This could be your attorney, your family, your friends, or even extended family members. What's your divorce case comes to an end, I would recommend acknowledging the efforts of these folks to help you and your family make it through the difficulties and trials of your case. I'm not telling you that you necessarily have to spend a great deal of time more money on these folks. Simply acknowledging them with a nice thank you, your card could go a long way.
You may be surprised at how much simply pointing out the good deeds of another person can be towards helping him, or she understands the full impact of their selfless actions even if you are talking about an old friend who heard about your divorce and stopped by to say hello one day, that single action may have made a tremendous difference free of both in the short and long terms. This is not to say that these folks went out of their way to be kind and acknowledged for their kindness, but one good deed deserves another. Take the time to encourage others to continue to be kind, and you will find yourself living in a better world before it is all said and done.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations can go a long way towards helping you and your family better understand how your circumstances may change with filing a divorce or child custody case.
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