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These Are the Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Get Divorced
Divorce is a common theme in the Housewives franchise.
The Real Housewives of Orange County's Gina Kirschenheiter is in the middle of an emotional split from her ex Matt Kirschenheiter, while The Real Housewives of New Jersey's Danielle Staub split from Marty Caffrey when the ink hadn't even dried on their marriage license.
The Real Housewives of New York City's Bethenny Frankel was tortured when her divorce dragged on for years. Ramona Singer split from husband Mario after he had an affair. Then there was the whole Luann de Lesseps and Tom D'Agostino fiasco.
The list goes on and on... and on... and on for the Housewives (and other Bravolebs) who have had to call it quits on their marriages for one reason or another. It can be a confusing time; it's not always clear if you should pull the plug on your relationship. Personal Space spoke with family lawyer Christina Djordjevich, of Walzer Melcher, who explained what you should really consider before you walk away.
First, think about the kids.
"If you have children, are you prepared to have them spend time in two different households? Assuming both are fit and competent parents and the courts choose both, you will see your children less and that is hard on people, at least initially," Djordjevich said. "It's typical to alternate or divide holidays in a given year, which can be difficult for some families to get used to initially."
And consider the cost.
"Another question is 'Are you prepared for the financial consequences of divorce if you have communal or marital property?' You will likely have half as much after the divorce than you did before — unless you have a prenup that says otherwise. If spousal support or alimony is being paid, that means you will also have less — both the payer and the receiver.
"Before filing, are you prepared to handle your own finances after the divorce? Typically, one [partner] handles some or all the finances and the one who is not accustomed to doing the finances must become more familiar with their financial situation — what you have, what you need, what you spend — so you can prepare for life after divorce. It's best to consult with a financial planner."
Remember, divorce means no secrets.
"There's a misconception that when you file for divorce that's it, but there is no privacy between your spouse even after you divorce or separate. Once a divorce action is filed they think they don’t have to disclose accounts or credit cards, but there’s an obligation to disclose financials until the divorce is complete, which comes as a surprise to a lot of people."
Do people change their minds a lot?
"Certainly I’ve had, at the very easy stages, I’ve had parties decide, 'I wanna give this another try,' after hearing about the divorce action and what it entails," Djordjevich said. "Once you start down that path though, probably the minority change their mind once the process gets started."
Djordjevich also plays therapist to her clients because the process is so difficult to go through.
"That’s part of the job... it’s such an emotionally taxing time for people even in divorces that are amicable. I will often recommend that a party engage their own therapist to make sure they have a support system around them.
"I always tell them there is a light at the end of the tunnel and this will get easier — everything is very raw and divorce is unfamiliar to a lot of people and the legal system is unfamiliar and as time passes it gets better — this is the toughest part. And I love hearing after the divorce from my clients that they’re happy and healthy and their children are happy and healthy."
Credit: Gina Kirschenheiter/Instagram