Thomas Ferreira here, your Carlsbad divorce attorney and mediator serving all of North San Diego County (and some of Riverside County too!).

Let me wish you a happy new year and much prosperity and happiness in your post-divorce life.

But wait a minute, you say.  I’ve been toughing out the holidays, trying to get through, and I’ve needed a divorce for months.  How do I get started?  What do I say to my soon-to-be-ex.

Or, perhaps you are on the receiving end if the announcement, and having that “holy crap” moment.  Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by all of the legalities, or the practicalities of pulling apart.  Perhaps you’re feeling lightheaded and a little foggy.

I’m not a physician, but I know a case of “divorce brain” when I see one.  You’re at the beginning stage of your breakup, and you don’t know how to talk to your ex, talk to your kids, or who of the many attorneys to hire.  Here are some easy steps to deal with divorce brain.

Step One:  See the end from the beginning.

If you have divorce brain, it’s often caused by having to make life-changing decisions while feeling grief, anxiety or profound confusion.  In this state, it is tempting to throw the case in the lap of that family law specialist with the fancy office.  Hey, she must be good, else how could she afford that fancy wood-paneled office and army of employees?

That approach is usually a mistake.  Yes, research and find the best attorney or mediator, but that’s not the first step.  The first step is often backward, so that you can see the whole picture.

Hope is the gasoline in the tank of the human spirit.  But how to you have hope when your world is caving in?  It takes some work, but it can be done.

Find a quite place where you can’t be disturbed, and do some dreaming.  What would your post-divorce life look  like if you could have an ideal life without your ex?  Where would you live?  How would you raise your kids?  How much would you earn? What would you be doing?  Who would you be seeing?

Ahh, that’s better.  Now, put pen to paper and write out a description of your post-divorce life.  Think big.  What family traditions will you start with your children?  What career path will you take? 

Step Two:  Write out some specific  goals for your post-divorce life.

Where do you want to be in 5 years?  Ten years?  Write out specific goals for your:

1.  Income.

2.  Parent-child Relationships.

3.  New mate (or lack thereof).

4.  Hobbies (cuz you’ve got to have some art in your life).

5. Friendships.

6. Retirement.

Then put on some soft music (or white  noise).  Meditation music, new age or classical is best.  Imagine that you’re already there, enjoying the satisfaction of attaining each goal.  Then imagine that you are telling a friend the pathway you took to getting there.  Write this part out, and be specific.  Something like this:

I was scared at first, but I knew that I’d always wanted to be an investment advisor.  I looked on line and found a 1-year training program.  I worked really hard and graduated in the top of my class.  My first job made just $5,000 per month, but I stuck with it.  I started a blog online, and soon people were coming to me for advice from all over.  I started doing workshops giving financial advice and a year after I started, I filled up a hotel ball room with 500 people.  Man, I had those people in the palm of my hand.  I was giving them great information, and they were paying $100 per ticket.  After paying for the room I netted $40,000 for the speaking gig.  Wow it felt good to watch that money flow  into my bank account…

Step Three:  Now plan your divorce strategy.

Notice here what’s not likely to come up.  Hiring the most expensive lawyer isn’t going to get you there.  You may wish to try and build some trust with your soon-to-be ex and maybe get the case into mediation.  You’re not going to play out your marital conflict through the litigation.  You’re not going to hang on to  old promises and broken dreams.  You’re going to move  forward, settle your case, and get to work on your dream post-divorce life.

Remember, the best revenge is, indeed, living well.

Love your family,

Protect your finances, and

Reach for your future!

Thomas D. Ferreira, Esq.

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