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190 - 10 Resolutions for the Recently Divorced

190 - 10 Resolutions for the Recently Divorced Image

03/25/2021 5:00 pm

The best laid plans can fall apart when there is no follow through. In today's show, Leh and Todd discuss 10 resolutions that the recently divorced should consider taking following the granting of their divorce. These resolutions will improve the quality of your post divorce life and help make sure you move forward on the best possible footing.




Transcript

Leh Meriwether: Welcome, everyone. I'm Leh Meriwether and with me is Todd Orston. We are your co-hosts for Divorce Team Radio. Our show is sponsored by the divorce and family law firm of Meriwether & Tharp. Here you will learn about divorce, family law, and from time to time even tips on how to save your marriage if it's in the middle of a crisis. If you want to read more about us, you can always check us out online at atlantadivorceteam.com. Todd? You there?

Todd Orston: I'm here.

Leh Meriwether: You're here.

Todd Orston: Yeah. I was hanging on your every word.

Leh Meriwether: Oh, okay. Well, I enjoyed our last show about New Year's resolutions for your marriage.

Todd Orston: I like it also. You know what, I'm even going to go so far. I like it so much, I'd like there to be a similar theme for this show. We haven't talked about it, but what do you think?

Leh Meriwether: I think that's a good idea. I think we should hit 10 New Year's resolutions for the recently divorced.

Todd Orston: You know what, I mean, I wish we talk about it earlier, but I think it's a great idea.

Leh Meriwether: We can wing it. We can come up [crosstalk 00:01:14].

Todd Orston: We can wing it. We do that with most of our shows anyway. So why make that a resolution. Prepare for shows. No, I'm kidding. It's all over the place.

Leh Meriwether: Oh, wait. Do you mean our show, show, we need 10 resolutions for Divorce Team Radio? Oh, I missed that one.

Todd Orston: That'll be the next one.

Leh Meriwether: I didn't even think about it because I knew you weren't going to fall through on anything anyways.

Todd Orston: Oh my goodness.

Leh Meriwether: It just went over my head.

Todd Orston: Well, at least we don't have hundreds or thousands of witnesses to that defamation.

Leh Meriwether: Defamation. Truth is a defense.

Todd Orston: All right. Before I get myself into too much trouble... All right. No. But look, we are positioning it in terms of New Year's resolutions, right? But this applies to anyone. This is truly limited to New Year's resolutions. These are tips that anyone who has recently gone through divorce that this is going to help you. It's just ways to focus or refocus to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward, putting yourself in the best position to have a successful 2021. And I think we all agree we need a more successful 2021.

So that being said, that's why I'm loving these shows, meaning how we're presenting it in terms of let's think of these as resolutions. Think of it in terms of not just, "I have to do this." It's, "Okay, I'm going to do this. This is going to help me. It's going to help my family." So anyway, that's our thought behind it.

Leh Meriwether: Let's start with hard one for some people. Number one, stop fighting battles from a dead marriage. It's over.

Todd Orston: Nothing you do at this point will change history, right? The unfortunate events that led to the breakup of the marriage... My take on what were saying here is it is what it is. It happened. And unfortunately the relationship broke down. You ended up having to go forward with the divorce, but it is time to move on, right? That divorce should be seen as almost cathartic in nature. It is okay. I am now phoenix reborn. It's time to put the bad things aside and move on.

Does that mean you forget? No. Does it mean you forgive? Maybe not. It depends on how bad the behavior was. It doesn't mean you allow any grudges to continue into the new year, and especially, if you have children, I mean if you harbor a grudge, but you're never again have to talk your spouse again because there's no kids, so be it. It still may not be healthy for you, but especially if there's kids, it's time to put it aside, put it behind you and just look forward.

Leh Meriwether: Yeah, because all too often, people will use their lawyer or court to try to settle basically emotional issues they have with their ex. I'm talking about contempt of court actions or just writing nasty letters all the time. It's the most expensive and usually the least effective way to handle these problems. You can handle them with a therapist, with a life coach, a wise friend or counselor.

So to get practical, because just saying stop fighting battles from a dead marriage. That sounds great, but it's not actionable. So what you do is if you're having trouble dealing with your spouse, because of a battle that you had in your marriage like something that you always thought about, maybe even that's what led to the death of the marriage, but obviously, all that fighting it didn't change the other person. So what you do is you sit down with your counselor and you identify those battles that came out of your now dead marriage.

You have the counselor help you develop coping mechanisms to deal with them. So when you feel the urge to begin an argument, the coping mechanism steps right in and you're able to go, "You know what, I'm not going there." Because you know it's not productive. In fact, it's counterproductive and often just too expensive. It is counterproductive because it makes the other person angry and it may make you feel good, but you're wasting a lot of time and energy on it.

I've seen people lose jobs. So you want to put a financial cost on it. Let's say they have an $80,000 job and you get fired because you're so obsessed with your ex, you're still fighting the battles from your marriage that it interferes with your ability to work. So this leads to number two, which is trying to be actionable. Find a good counselor.

Todd Orston: It's so important. I'm one of those people, I have the utmost respect for people in that profession. But as with anything, as with divorce lawyers, as with doctors, teachers, you name it. There's some that are good. There are some that are not as good. All right? And if you are constantly thinking of how can I get onto that path of like get back to a more healthy place, how can I move past the negativity that led to a divorce and resulted in a divorce? You need good people on your side. And a good counselor, there some counselors that do a really good job of helping you move past the anger and all of that. And some who maybe don't.

So make sure you find someone good, someone... Because it's really hard. Leh, you and I have talked about it. It's really hard to self-evaluate. And finding a good counselor, they're going to help you work through how and why, and where your marriage failed and what you can do to avoid it in the future. And also how to just let go of any resentment and anger that you have over why you lead or lead to that place, and why you had to unfortunately turn your life upside down emotionally speaking and go through that divorce. The blame game, it's not a game. It is something that people engage in, and unfortunately don't let it go, all it's going to do is bring additional negativity into your life.

Leh Meriwether: Right. For those that may have said, "Well, I didn't do anything wrong. It was the other person's fault." Usually, that's not the case, but maybe in your case it is true. I mean, I've seen that before. And I have met some very wise people That said, "You know what, I did make a mistake. I married the wrong person. And what do I mean by that? And this is where I typically see this example. They married someone with addictive personality and they knew they had a problem. Perhaps they met them, they were drinking too much and they get married. The addiction shifts from alcohol to drugs, whether legal or not.

And then that destroys them. Not only does the marriage gets destroyed, but a husband or wife, father, mother, they get destroyed along the way. So I've had people go, "I'm going to counseling because for some reason I find myself attracted to people that I think I need to help." I don't want another marriage to end like this. So they get into counseling. Todd, you were talking about self-evaluating to make sure you don't marry that same type of person again.

So let's get practical again. So we can't just say we got to find a good counselor. Here's what you do. You say, depending on when you're listening to this, but let's say in the next two weeks, so by perhaps February 1st or February 15th, whenever, I'm going to call at least five counselors. And then I'm going to pick one that I'm in the use by February 7th... Or let's say February 15th. Put another week on there. So it will be February 22nd. So by February 22, I would have narrowed it down to one, the one I'm going to use and then I'm in to schedule an appointment with that person by March 1st.

So you put those dates on your calendar and you put reminders. I don't know about you, but I know on my phone I could put three reminders. One week out, three days out, one day out, the day of, and put reminders so it keeps popping up at your calendar. "Oh, shoot. I need to call two more counselors because I got to find a good counselor that's the right fit for me. Get practical. Put it on your calendar. Make it happen. Execute so that you can find that good counselor, you can get in with them and you set yourself up for success at so many levels. And we'll get into those new levels, those other levels as we come back.

I just want to let you know that if you ever want to listen to the show live, You can listen at 1:00 AM on Monday mornings, WSB. So you can always check us out there as well.

Todd Orston: Better than like counting sheep I guess, right?

Leh Meriwether: That's right.

Todd Orston: You can turn on the show and we'll help you fall asleep.

Leh Meriwether: There you go.

Todd Orston: I'll talk very softly.

Leh Meriwether: Welcome back, everyone. This is Leh and Todd and we are your co-hosts for Divorce Team Radio, a show sponsored by the divorce and family law firm of Meriwether & Tharp. If you want to read more about us, you can always check us out online at atlantadivorceteam.com. And if you want to read a transcript of this show or go back and listen to it again, you can find this at divorceteamradio.com. We're also available anywhere you get your podcasts.

Okay. Well, today, we are going over 10... We're going at New Year's resolutions for the recently divorced. But Todd, you pointed out last segment, it really applies for anybody who just got divorce. These are 10 good ideas for you to walk through, make these resolutions after divorce is granted so that you set yourself up in a positive light, in a positive way when it comes to co-parenting, your relationship with your ex, your relationship with potentially your future spouse, your relationship with all those around you.

Which is why we are to get into something that if you don't do the third one, it can lead to a whole kinds of problems with just dealing with people around you, and talk about that. But forgiving your spouse.

Todd Orston: This is the hardest one. I mean, of everything we're going to talk about, this is by far the most challenging one that we're going to talk about. I'm sorry I interrupted you, but please forgive me.

Leh Meriwether: I can forgive you.

Todd Orston: So we can move on with the show.

Leh Meriwether: Fantastic. Yeah. It's that important. But you know what, Todd I'm really doing that more for me than for you. That's actually the truth. People don't realize that forgiveness is as much for the person who grants it, as it is the person who receives it. Because if you harbor that grudge, it plays in all your relationships around you. I mean it's funny because sometimes I have met people and they'll be telling me about their... They're saying, "Oh, you're a divorce lawyer. Let me tell you about my divorce." And they'll start talking to you and you're like, "Wow. So was your divorce granted last month?" "Oh, no. That was 20 years ago." You're like, "Wow, you really have to let it go."

It was a social gathering, pre-COVID obviously, but then you start inching yourself slowly away from that person because you don't want to hear about it anymore. I mean, that's the struggle.

Todd Orston: Yeah. You're not going to get that emotional closure that you need until you're able to forgive. Now, does that mean forget? No.

Leh Meriwether: No.

Todd Orston: Does it mean to ignore the bad behavior? Does it mean that you have to remain best friends? No. I mean, if you've been hurt, if you've been wronged in a significant way or maybe not even significant, but just if you've been mistreated, I'm not saying forgiveness means forgetting that behavior, but you have to get some closure in your life. The only way in my mind and I'm not an expert in this field, but what we see with clients too often is that they can't get beyond that behavior, get to a point where there is some level of forgiveness so that they can themselves emotionally move and they become sort of emotionally stagnant. They get stuck.

And all that happens is it starts to influence... And again, I'm now speaking as a divorce attorney that you start to see how it is infecting so many other areas of their life. New relationships, relationship with their own children, relationships with other friends and family, and just continued strife with the former spouse. And again, just because you been divorced, doesn't mean there can't be additional litigation. Too often, we have to deal with contempt. Too often we have to do with modifications.

I do believe if people could get to some level of forgiveness so that they could then communicate better with a former spouse, especially where children are involved, we would avoid a whole bunch of litigation.

Leh Meriwether: Yeah, for sure. There are certain circumstances where it is critically important you don't forget what happened. A perfect example of someone that have an alcohol addiction. And part of the reason for the divorce was you caught your spouse driving drunk one day with your children in the car. Well, obviously, identifying the signs where you're like, "Okay, this person is drinking. I can tell. I can tell by the way they're slurring their words.

Everybody has their own... Some people you can't tell unless you're married to them, whether they're drunk or not. Some people very functioning alcoholics and it's very scary. But when you're married to the person you can really identify it. So that's an example where you don't want to forget that because you never want your children exposed to a potentially dangerous situation. But by the same token, you have... But by forgiving the person, you can still talk about that person in such a positive light to your children.

I don't remember if you remember a while back Todd, we did that show and it was with... I think it was with some co-parenting coordinators and they were telling the story, and it's actually one of the books I read, I think, where they're telling the story about this gentleman who was extremely successful. I forgot how many books he's written and everything, but his mom always talked about how great his dad was. So every time he did something positive in school whether extracurricular activities or whatnot, his mom would always say, "You know, you got that from your dad."

So later on in life, he actually met his dad. So he grew up not really knowing his dad except for all the positive things his mom always said. He meets his dad and he says, "Dad is a complete loser." He's an adult now so he can obviously identify this, he's a chain-smoking, drinking, just a loser. And I'm not saying just because you're a chain-smoker, you're a loser. It was just a whole combination thing.

So he goes back to his mom and he was... In one level, he was kind of angry like, "Why didn't you tell me the truth about my dad?" She said, "Because every time I gave you that positive encouragement that something good was inside you, you strove for something good next time. But if gave you an excuse for every time you did something bad to say, well, that's just how my dad was, I don't know if you would have achieved what you did." He agreed with his mom.

So that's an example of where you can learn to forgive your spouse, and then specially if you're married. And then you can relay something positive. You can protect your children but at the same time relay something positive, that can give them almost emotional tools to be successful in life.

Todd Orston: Yeah. I remember that story and I love that story. That's why I started this segment with... This is the hardest thing. Of all the tips that we are giving, we are by no means the experts in this field. This also goes back to us talking about counselors and therapists, and what have you. They are the front-line workers that are helping people through this pain. But the one thing that we see again and again and again is there is this inability to forgive, and that results in an inability to move forward to just get past the pain and start to really think about what is my future going to look like. Because I got to tell you, I've seen too many clients where a year, two years, five years, 10 years, it's almost as if they are in the same mental place that they were in before they even got divorced.

The anger is still there. The resentment is still there. Everything is still there. Am I surprised when their calling saying, "I want to file a contempt. I want to file a modification. I want to fight." No, I'm not surprised because they themselves were not able to let things go. And letting things go also might mean, you are now modifying how you engage with that person.

Again, I'm not saying, you have to be best friends, but there are ways then that you can modify your interactions. You don't need every conversation. Even if you have a belligerent person on the other side, to me, forgiveness can also include that's who they are. I'm not going to to let them affect my life anymore. I'm done with that. So I'll communicate with you. I'll keep things civil. If you can't do the same, were done for the day. "All right. Have a lovely day. I'm to go enjoy mine. Thank you so much."

Leh Meriwether: So number four falls in line with this, and I think it's almost... And for some people, it's actually just as hard as number three. And that's forgiving yourself. So it really really does take two to tango and sometimes the breakdown for the marriage can be shared 50-50, sometimes 60-40. Sometimes you're blindsided by the divorce and you may have trouble forgiving yourself for ignoring the warning signs.

Maybe you didn't see it coming. Remember we had a... I think it was Bill Butterworth. He wrote a book about... Was it new life after divorce? I apologize, Bill if I don't remember the name of it. But Bill Butterworth is the author. And he didn't see it coming. He actually was a speaker, professional speaker and one of his top topics was marriage and he was traveling around the country, and that's how he earned his living.

So not only he was blindsided by his wife's divorce, but the fact that if he thought his career was coming to an end, and he had trouble forgiving himself. When we come back, we're going to continue to break down 10 resolutions for the recently divorced.

Todd Orston: Hey, everyone. You're listening to our podcast, but you have alternatives. You have choices. You can listen to us live also at 1 AM on Monday morning on WSB.

Leh Meriwether: If you're enjoying the show, we would love it if you could go right us in iTunes or wherever you may be listening to it. Give us a five star rating and tell us why you like the show.

Welcome back everyone. This is Leh and Todd and we are your co-hosts for Divorce Team Radio, a show sponsored by the divorce and family law firm of Meriwether & Tharp. But if you want to read more about us, you can always check us out online at atlantadivorceteam.com. If you want to read a transcript of this show or go back and listen to it again, you could find it at divorcteamradio.com.

Well, today, we're talking about the 10 New Year's resolutions for the recently divorced. Obviously, it doesn't have to be a New Year's for you to apply these resolutions. I mean if you've just been recently divorced, these are 10 things you can do that are going to set you up for an emotional and financial success in the future. The last time we were talking about forgiving yourself.

We'll keep this one short because truthfully a lot of it lines up with forgiving your spouse and because the same emotional... You can have the same problems by not forgiving yourself as if you didn't forgive your spouse or you couldn't forgive your spouse. So you need to address some of the good counselor, because otherwise you become emotionally shackled by whatever guilt you feel from coming out of that marriage.

Todd Orston: Yeah, emotional shackle. I actually really like that term. It sounds like my favorite band from college. The heavy, "I hate my spouse. I hate my... Going to the stage, The Emotional Shackle." That's not what we're talking about. I do like the term and you're right, it becomes a weight that you are carrying with you. I don't know a good analogy. Sometimes I think in those terms, but it's sort of like the person who has put on a lot of weight. I'm not making fun. This is actually a serious comment. I'm not going to break into more heavy metal lyrics.

You don't realize the impact carrying all that weight has on you if somebody came up, if you went from 110 pounds to 210 pounds. It happened over time. You don't realize you're carrying that weight or the impact it has on you. If somebody came over to you and put 100-pound backpack on you and said, "Tell me how this is affecting you." It be a lot easier to tell, right? You be like, "Oh, absolutely. Get this off. I'm not carrying this anymore." To me, that emotional weight is even worse, right? Physical weight, I get it. That's...

Leh Meriwether: You can just take it off easily.

Todd Orston: But that emotional weight, you don't realize the impact it's having on you, on your body, on your relationships, on your children, on friends. It has such an impact that you can't even see because you put that weight on, overtime, and when you look in the mirror, you don't recognize it. You don't see it so easily. You're just sort of like, "This is me," right?

Leh Meriwether: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Todd Orston: That's why forgiving your spouse and forgiving yourself, to me, incredibly difficult, but so important. I would go so far as to say, again, one of the most important concepts that we've talked about in the show.

Leh Meriwether: Right. Now, again, so forgiving your spouse, forgiving yourself, that's kind of... When it comes to resolution acting on that as we all pointed out is very difficult. We already gave one list. Find a good counselor, because that person's can help you achieve those two things. Number five is another practical thing to do to make sure you can achieve these other two, and that's join a good divorce support group or make friends. A lot of times we go through divorce, you make new friends.

So maybe join a hobby group, something you enjoy. Whether it's meetup.com or something like that, can help you find groups for hobbies in your area. So that's something that can help you move forward in your life by joining that divorce support group. So just like you really... If you just got divorced, you wouldn't want to go see that band, the emotional shackles, because the lyrics I just heard. You also don't want to go divorce support group where it's just a spouse bashing session.

Todd Orston: Yeah. And equally, you don't want to go to a website like my exspouseissatan.com. It's all about surround yourself with positivity. When you meet with these people, again, should you be talking... Everybody wants tell a story, right? Everybody has experiences and I have experiences in my life. In the right context, do I want to tell some of those stories? Sure. But if this is a group or a website dedicated to reliving that negativity, that's not what we're talking about. Surround yourself with positivity. Surround yourself with people.

And by the way, this goes with friends and family also. I'm not saying you cut people out of your life, but I am saying maybe you don't need to talk about your relationship woes with somebody if all they're doing is bringing it up and bashing your former spouse and basically keeping you shackled in that sort of pool of negativity. You got a move past it. And with the right friends, with the right family, with the right counselor, with the right help, you can do it. It's going to be hard, but you can do it.

Leh Meriwether: So I would say just like for finding that counselor, I would say, again, a practical tip, put on your calendar. Maybe it's two weeks out. So two weeks out from today when you're listening to this. All right. I'm going to research the support groups in my area and you'll need some action items. Maybe, if you're involved in the church. Maybe they have an organization like there's this thing called Oasis at the churches that I'm involved in.

But maybe you're not in a church. Maybe just where you are, maybe your counselor know somebody. Maybe there there are local organizations that are not affiliated with churches at all that has support group. So say in two weeks, I'm going to reach out, I'm going to find all the support groups that are in my area and when the next meeting is. And then three weeks out from today, I will have picked one and then four weeks out... And that's a deadline. If you get it all done in a week, great. But you're going to email whoever's in charge of those meet ups, those meetings or groups, and you're going to get into one of those groups. So that's a practical tip.

All right. We're going to shift to finances now. So that's the emotional components. Now, we're going to shift to some finances. Number six is update your will, trust, insurance policies and estate plans, if any.

Todd Orston: It's so important. And too often overlooked by people. When there is a big life change like a divorce, there are undoubtedly and inevitably legal documents that at that point must be... Not need to be, should be, whatever, must be updated and changed, okay? If you established a will, that will more than likely, if it was prepared while you were married, included as beneficiary, your spouse. I have to believe. I am going out on a limb here, yet, in the event of your death, you don't want anything additional flowing through your former spouse. I mean wild thought.

So you have to think about that. You have to think about insurance policies that named beneficiaries. Any kind of an insurance policy or anything where benefits are being received or can be received, and it has a named beneficiary, you have to look into changing that. And it's not the kind of thing that you should wait because first of all, most of those things deal with the god forbid kind of stuff, right? Well, that points too late, and it's too late for you to make changes.

Leh Meriwether: And I have seen it before. One spouse forgot to do it. In fact, he got remarried and then the ex-spouse received all the life insurance benefits, and there was nothing the other person can do. Nothing.

Todd Orston: Yeah.

Leh Meriwether: So real practical. If your will did not have anything on your ex-spouse, make sure you got new executors for the will. I mean, truthfully, you want to do a whole new will. Make your-

Todd Orston: By the way, it could be simple. I'm sorry to interrupt, but if you have a will that only needs a couple of tweaks, go back to that same attorney. Hopefully, you can because then that attorney more than likely can pull up the same will, make a couple of tweaks and then the cost is low, relatively speaking. So you don't need to go to a brand-new attorney. And if you're happy with the work that was done previously, then absolutely go to the same attorney. They should already be set up to be able to make a couple of tweaks and have you execute a brand-new document.

Leh Meriwether: Right. And update any way living wills or anything like that, any powers of attorneys that you may have for medical decisions or financial matters because often times it was your spouse. Update those. Also, make sure your pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs, the beneficiaries for those policies are updated, because of you pass away and you have an updated it in yours, again, your spouse could get the benefits of that. So make sure all those things are updated. And when we come back we're going to talk about number seven, getting all your other finances in order, and what that means.

I just want to let you know that if you want to listen to the show live, you can listen at 1:00 AM on Monday mornings on WSB. So you can always check us out there as well.

Todd Orston: Better than like counting sheep, I guess, right?

Leh Meriwether: That's right.

Todd Orston: You can turn on the show and we'll help you fall asleep.

Leh Meriwether: There you go.

Todd Orston: I'll talk very soft.

Leh Meriwether: Welcome back, everyone. Welcome back, everyone. This is Leh and Todd and we are your co-hosts for Divorce Team Radio, a show sponsored by the divorce and family law firm at Meriwether & Tharp. If you want to read more about us, you can always check us out online at atlantadivorceteam.com. And if you want to read a transcript of this show or go back and listen to others, you can always, find them at divoreteamradio.com.

Well, today, we're talking about the 10 New Year's resolutions, or I could say, depending on the time of the year, you're listening to the 10 resolutions for the newly divorced. So we shifted gears into finances. So number seven, it's a general statement because were piling a bunch in there, but it's get your finances in order.

Todd Orston: So important. Sorry. So many people. We see so many people and they don't do this. They don't get their personal finances in order. They don't think about their own budget. They don't think about things that they need to do to protect themselves and better manage. And sometimes, it simply because they were in a relationship or they didn't have to deal with those things. And it's brand-new and it's a lot. It's daunting. But you need to get your finances in order.

You need to know what you have and develop plans to deal with debt and to manage those assets. Even things in terms of just how about changing passwords. If you didn't change banks, if you didn't change even accounts, if you were just awarded accounts, make sure you go into it. I'm not saying that your spouse will do anything improper, but it doesn't matter. Go in. Start fresh. Change the passwords. Make sure that only you have access to that account.

We have seen situations where people did do the wrong thing, and it's not only wrong, it's criminal. But nonetheless protect the assets. All right? And also very important. Too many people go through a divorce process and afterwards... We have a lot of people actually call us and were like, "I went through a divorce. Can I come in and meet with one of your attorney so we can sort of go through with the terms are, make sure I understand everything that I need to do, right?"

Obviously, if you were represented that should never happen. Your attorney should have educated you. But make sure you sit down and understand, practically speaking, the terms and how it affects you. What are your rights? What are your obligations? Because if you don't do that, you are opening the door to potential strife, potential legal problems in the future.

Leh Meriwether: Yeah, and we're talking about specifically like perhaps one of you is supposed to do a qualified domestic relations order. That's what you used to divide up a 401(k) tax-free. Perhaps just a simple IRA that you need to split. So you need to make sure those are taken care of timely. Perhaps one or both of you have to pay out certain credit cards by certain dates as a condition of the settlement agreement.

Make sure those dates are on your calendar and make sure you are setting yourself up to pay off those credit cards timely or perhaps are tied to the sale of the house. So just make sure which credit cards they are, the numbers, the name on the account. All the critical information, so that you and get it over to the closing lawyer, so ideally you would have the closing lawyer send checks if they'll do this directly to those credit card companies to pay it off in full. Sometimes they won't do it. It depends on the closing lawyer.

Todd Orston: Yeah.

Leh Meriwether: Have a breakdown of all your assets and your liabilities associated with them. So whatever you walk out on the divorce with, you want to break down... I'm not talking about a furniture list, I'm talking about if you do have a 401(k) or certain bank accounts, or savings accounts, or whatever it may be, and then share them with a relative. If something happens to you, they can because now your spouse isn't there. They can jump in and take care of things.

Login information for your mortgage or something like that. So whoever might be your executor that you've already named in your new will, you want to list for them to be able to get access to jump in and take care of all these different accounts. So that's going to help set you up for success. Because in the past, it was typically your spouse have it, now you don't have that stuff.

Todd Orston: And the challenges in doing this, especially if it's not in your wheelhouse, If it's not something you're comfortable with, leads into number eight.

Leh Meriwether: Yup. Hire a good financial planner.

Todd Orston: They're out there. There are, and again there are good ones and bad ones. Interview. Find somebody that has some experience that is going to apply some common sense kind of approaches to helping you as you get your financial sea legs under you. All right? There are people out there that can help and it makes sense. Especially if you are dealing with assets and if it's the first time you've had to manage your own estate, manage your own accounts and what have you, then a good financial planner is going to give you tools to be successful.

Leh Meriwether: And depending on where you are, meaning... So let's say you don't have a whole lot in assets. Maybe you're getting a divorce pretty young and you're like, "Yeah, but one day I want to have assets." There are different places that you can go. For example, I'm a big Dave Ramsey fan. You can go to daveramsey.com. And this is not an endorsement. We don't get paid by him or anything, but I do know people's lives have been turned around as a result of programs that he has that are very inexpensive.

He also has a list of potential financial planners and that he is vetted or his organization is vetted in your area. But maybe for whatever reason, you don't like Dave Ramsey, but use social media. Like here in Cherokee County where I live for example, they've got this culture key connect and people post on there all the time. "Hey, I'm need to find a new financial planner. Does anybody have any recommendations?" And then you usually get 100 different comments. Sometimes 50 of those comments will be the same financial planner and the other 50 are broken up different organizations.

So that's a great way to get a list of people that have had a positive experience with their financial planners, and you can go meet with them. I mean, there's also people like [Bo Varnado 00:40:43] that'll help you even with your budget. He's a certified CDFA, certified divorce financial analyst. So there were all kinds of options out there to help you, everything from your budget. If you didn't take care of your divorce, hopefully you did come up with a budget in your divorce, to different... We're talking multimillion dollar depending on where you are. If you have a multimillion dollar state find someone that knows how to handle this. All right. Well, let's move on to something that it can be just as important as that, number nine.

Todd Orston: Yeah, I would say again, these two are... If you truly have a desire to get out of the rut, to break free of those emotional shackles, then nine and 10 are incredibly important. Number nine, I will jump in and I'll say develop a regular exercise program, okay? I'm not saying you've never worked out and you're going to be bench pressing 400 by the end of the month, okay? I mean, I'm not strong, but I understand most... My wife here is this one. [inaudible 00:42:09]. You can spell gym, let alone find one.

But exercise is incredibly important as a therapeutic tool, if for no reason other than to effectuate the release of those endorphins and the serotonin basically to help deal with issues of potential depression. If you're trying to move on with your life, Exercise is a great tool to use.

Leh Meriwether: I think there was a... What is it called? About 2013, there was a study published in physical activity. It was titled physical activity and the prevention of depression. The October issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. It was a review of 25 different studies representing 26 years of scientific research, and it concluded that moderate exercise, something as simple as walking, 20-30 minutes every day, not only treats but also can prevent depression and people of all age groups later in life.

So that program can help get you through the dark times, because I mean, I don't know anybody that didn't suffer from some sort of level of situational depression as a result of their divorce. All right. So number 10. Read at least one book on co-parenting and one self-help book in the next year.

Todd Orston: There are some great ones out there. There are some that are eh. But even the eh ones, if you get into a pattern of looking for that help, its out there. That advice is out there. There are some fantastic books that can help refocus you on the positive rather than the history, the negative.

Leh Meriwether: And when it comes to co-parenting, I know we've had two authors on our show, Diane Dierks. She wrote The Co-Parent Tool Box and Tammy Daughtry. She wrote Co-Parenting Works. The advantage of those books is they give you practical... Both of them are very practical books. They not only talk about why it's so important, but how to go about being a good co-parent. Get those two for sure and read one each year and it will help you be a better co-parent. Find. There's all kinds of self-help books out there that can help you move forward in life and complete your 10 resolutions for the recently divorced. Hey, everyone. Thanks so much for listening.