Divorce is messy, but it’s not a time to be disorganized.
Keeping your documents, your ideas and your calendar organized can be a huge benefit for you moving through the divorce. It’s an opportunity to keep forward momentum in the process, which can save you time and money. Attorneys typically bill in 6-minute or 15-minute increments, so being disorganized costs you money!
Organization will bring you peace of mind and help you reduce stress. If you can’t find financial statements or parenting plan ideas when you’re going to meet with a member of your divorce team, it can become overwhelming and increase anxiety.
When you’re having a meeting with your attorney or keeping your thoughts in-line, it’s best to keep all of those in one place. And that place can be your Divorce Go-Bag.
When my kids were little, we had Go-Bags sitting at the front door. These had all of the items restless toddlers would need while at a restaurant or in the car. It was a life-saver as a busy mom to have it all ready in one place, where we could grab and go. It kept the toy cars, coloring books, crayons and books all together. The same goes with a Divorce Go-Bag.
A Divorce Go-Bag can be a helpful way in the same way -- to keep you organized and know that all related items are ready to-go!
I used a cute llama tote bag for my divorce and still have the bag even years later, when I need to refer to statements or documents. And though mine was less professional than I currently recommend, it served the purpose.
So, what goes in a Divorce Go-Bag. Here’s what I believe is beneficial for my clients:
1) A tote bag, backpack, box or crate: Something sturdy to carry all of your information to your appointments. I personally like tote bags, an easy over-the-shoulder bag to keep it all together.
2) File Folders: These are absolutely necessary! These can organize all of your documents, statements, notes and paperwork. You can organize as you’d like, but keeping track of financials for you and your soon-to-be-ex, statements for investments and insurance, kids expenses and accounts, mortgages and loans, and previous tax returns.
3) Pens and Highlighters: I love journaling, so colored pens and highlighters are my favorites. I recommend writing and highlighting information for yourself, your STBX and your kids in different colors so you can track more quickly when scanning the documents quickly.
4) Tabs and Sticky Notes: These can help you mark documents that need to be found quickly or addressed. Sticky notes can help you make notes as you go. These will help you organize and find the items you need.
5) Notebook: You will need a notebook to organize your thoughts in one place or take notes at meetings with your divorce team. If you want to have a few or a sectioned notebook for each category, that works too. I recommend using the notebook to work out budgeting and financials, ideas on the parenting plan, and notes from your meetings.
When you’re dealing with divorce, keeping yourself organized not only saves you time and money, but also allows you to reduce stress. All of these let you focus on what’s most important -- making decisions for you, your kids and your future.
Create a Divorce Go-Bag to keep you on track, moving forward and in control.