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While the basics of planning your divorce are available in our His and Her Divorce Planners, we have ideas for stuff that may help you feel more positive and inspired while regaining your independence through divorce.   

From fun ideas to serious suggestions, the list is sure to provide several must-haves for every spouse going through the big "D"!  Choose your "must-haves" from this 2020 DMK List of His and Her Must-Haves During Divorce.  Pick the ones that are right for you and ditch the rest!

 

 


List of His Must-Haves when Divorcing

20. Guy T.V.

Now's the time to control the remote and pick the channels you want to watch.  In fact, get your channels on all of your devices.   Add ESPN+® and stream live sports, ESPN originals and articles to any device.  Try Amazon Prime® and watch featured documentaries, MLB.TV® and LIVE NFL Thursday Night Football® (extra charges to standard Prime® fees may apply).  Get your devices loaded up, your way, with the shows, movies and live sports you want!  You need this! It helps you destress and keeps your mind off what makes you miserable (like ex wives and legal fees)!


19. A Suit

Every guy should have a nice suit.  Don't show up to court in casual attire.  Make a good impression; your divorce judge will notice. It's best to wear a suit and tie like you would wear to a business meeting. It can be a stylish suit, but overall it should be conservative. Check out more details about what to and what not to wear to court at NationalFamilyMatters.com. Besides court, there are many places to wear your new formal threads.  Make plans, appointments or reservations.  Once you have the suit, you have no excuses why you shouldn't be out there getting that next big job, getting to know new people and going to places you've never been.


18. A Beard

Come on guys, a thick, well-groomed beard is trending just about everywhere! Give it a try for awhile, you may decide to keep it. Regardless of your age, there's a beard style for you. Check out everything you need to know to get your beard started now along with top beard styles listed on Gillette.com.

Top beard styles in 2020

Circle Beard aka the goatee

Balbo Beard

3-Day Stubble Beard

Mutton Chops Beard

Short Boxed Beard

17. Condoms

Be ready for anything once your single. While you may not have any intention on having sex, just make sure you have protection available if you need it.


16. Muscle Builder and Recovery Supplement

It's a great time to add a muscle building regimen to your workout.  According to a 2018 article on Science Daily, an Iowa State University Study found that weightlifting every week for even a short duration (less than one hour) may reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke by forty to seventy percent.  Resistance training (when compared to none) lowered the risk of hypercholesterolemia by thirty-two percent and also reduced the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.  This syndrome is associated with heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  

Adding a muscle building supplement powder has been shown to increase muscle mass more quickly and help you recover after a workout.  Be sure to research the best and safest products available.  Rely on numerous, reputable sources, not just the manufacturer's claims.  Check with your physician before getting started with weight training and/or supplements/muscle builders.


15. Hair Replacement Therapy

Cliché? Not at all. Most people want a thick head of hair. Divorce can really put a dent in your self-esteem. Trying an inexpensive hair replacement therapy can produce some great results.  After the divorce you may choose to do a more extensive therapy that may cost more.  Why not try the less expensive ones now to see what you think? If they work as well as you hope, you'll have more hair and feel great about yourself.  If not, you'll have time to prepare financially for more expensive treatments.


14. New Look

Now's the time to update your appearance and invest in yourself.  It'll help you rebound faster after the divorce and provide a boost to your self-esteem.  Break free from your typical fashion.  Try slim fitting or boot cut jeans instead of your traditional style.  Step outside of your comfort zone with new boots or casual loafers.  Add a slim fitting sports coat with jeans and shirt to get a more sophisticated look for casual wear.  The possibilities are endless!


13. Personal Trainer

If you're tired of just doing cardio or feel like your workout isn't producing the results you want, it may be time to hire a personal trainer.  Usually a local gym can provide you personal training from experienced professionals for a reasonable upcharge from their typical gym membership.  You'll tell your trainer what areas you wish to improve and typical concerns and they can work with you to achieve better results than trying it on your own.  Most trainers will consult you on your diet, specific muscle groups, proper form, exercises and machines.


12. New Favorite Beverage

Sometimes when your peeved and penniless a little change in your "comfort beverage" goes a long way. Consider a new flavorful seltzer, coffee beverage or tea.  Be tough, drink like a girl if it helps.  Frappuccinos and pina coladas aren't just for them. 

Don't just grab a different flavor soft drink, try a new type of drink. Go healthy with a homemade all natural, blended drink with vegetables, fruit and yogurt or call upon the pros at Jamba Juice® for an Orange C-Booster Smoothie or Smoothie King® for one of their Keto Champ Smoothies™. You may find a new favorite healthy beverage to help you get through these days of dread and darkness!

Not a healthy-drink kind of guy?  A new lager works too!  In fact, try an IPA, a seasonal flavor-enhanced beer or start brewing your own!  There's never been a better time to become your own brew-master!


11. New Meetup® Group Membership

While many people don't want to date until their divorce is final, joining a new Meetup® is a great way to reduce depression and anxiety.  You'll get out there, stay social and do the things you love.  There are groups/events related to all sorts of hobbies, interests and categories.  A new group of friends with similar interests will help keep you focused on positive activities instead of ruminating over the pangs of divorce. 

Don't use it to "hook-up" with new women, instead stay focused on meeting new people outside of your typical friends.  New friends start a new chapter in your life without your former spouse.  It will keep you focused on the future instead of the past.  Your current friends will still be in your life, but it helps to have people who only know you as "you", not "you and your soon-to-be ex".  A divorce-free friend zone is very helpful!


10. Music Lessons

Ever wanted to learn how to play the drums, guitar or cello?  Here's your chance!  The time between deciding to divorce and actually signing the final paperwork can be a journey many consider "limbo".  Fight this "grey" void with learning new things, starting new hobbies and accomplishing attainable goals.  Start a once-a-week music lesson.  Many local musical instrument stores offer lessons for numerous instruments.  Many offer instrument rental too.  If you prefer to own, try Amazon® or eBay® for a great selection of preowned instruments for hundreds less than new!


9. Hobby for Profit

Accomplishments create positive vibes which are needed to offset the negative stuff from your divorce.  A great way to put a little extra money in the bank and keep your mind focused on future endeavors is start a new hobby with potential for profit.  Start small, think big and stick with it! 

If you already have a hobby, think of ways that you could monetize it.  Love collecting?  Start a blog with advertising or act as a broker.  Stock market fascination? Start investing pocket change every month and see how a small investment and decent return can bring in some money for retirement.  Artistic?  Create your works of art and get them into a local art show.  Cook?  Start catering.  Beer?  Start a blog or make your own and sell to friends and family!  The possibilities are endless as are those good vibes from every penny you earn!  


8. Son or Daughter's Advice

It's so easy to lose touch of what's hot right now.  Whether it's fashion, technology, social media or lingo, kids usually know more than we do about what's trending.   If you have questions, don't be afraid to talk to your teenagers or young adults for guidance. You don't always have to take their advice, but be open minded and welcome 2020 into your life.  Your kids will appreciate your interest in their help and/or opinions. When you give them an opportunity to give you advice, they'll be more likely to accept advice too!   It also gives you a great talking point during that "awkward teenager" phase when parents and teens usually have communication problems.


7. Part-time Job

If money is an issue like it is for so many divorcing couples, get a side-hustle. Even 10 hours a week at $10/hour can bring in enough for a car payment or utility bills. Pick a part-time gig that's different from your everyday job and try to pick something that would be both fun and provide some extra money.  It's better for your mental well-being too!  Staying busy and active keeps your mind off missing your kids, pets or home and getting screwed in the divorce.


6. Counseling

Men tend to suffer more emotionally following a divorce.  It's a good idea to speak with an unbiased professional who can guide you through this tough time.  This is not another woman or your buddies.  Speak with a professional who can really help you therapeutically.  To get the best results, choose a counselor or therapist you like and that you think will fit with your personality.  If counseling isn't your thing, try a local divorce group for peer support, social interaction and additional resources.  Contact a local church, community center or DivorceCare.org for help finding a group near you.


5. Hormone Testing

Depending on your age, you may want to speak with your physician or an Endocrinologist (a hormone specialist) about hormone testing and the risks and/or side effects of hormone replacement.  Stress, poor nutrition and poor health may precipitate symptoms of male hormone imbalance such as hypogonadism (low testosterone).  Some of the symptoms of male hormonal imbalance may include: sexual problems, weight gain, poor muscle mass, trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping, abnormal heart conditions and more.  

Make sure you understand the differences between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones before starting therapy. Refer to a medical doctor first and always research the benefits vs. possible problems of any specific treatment.

4. Anti-depressants (as needed)

Sometimes the reason for your blues is situational rather than a chemical imbalance and/or clinical depression.  An active, heathy lifestyle, talk or music therapy, social stimulation and achievements may be all that you need to fight the break-up blues. 

Contact your physician if your blues turn to depression and are unremittent despite your attempts to combat them.  He/she may recommend a prescription for an anti-depressant or anxiety reducing medication.  While it may still be precipitated by current events in your life, some situations can precipitate anxiety and depression which may actually make your situation worse.  It's a cycle that's hard to stop without medical intervention.  

There are numerous types of medications available to treat depression and anxiety.  If you've had a bad experience with one, consider: a modified dosage of the same medication, name brand instead of generic, combination of two medications or a different type of antidepressant altogether. There are also other therapies used to treat depression when medication fails.  Consult your physician for more information.  Also, read our DMK article, "Depression. Real. Simple. Miserable" for more information about depression and medications.


3. Legal and Financial Planning Advice

Before making decisions relevant to your settlement, speak with professionals who can guide you. Your own, experienced attorney will look out for your best interests based on your circumstances and the laws in your state. Your financial advisor can help you preplan your post-divorce portfolio.  Your tax advisor will prepare you for any tax liabilities and/or advise you of any potential advantages when splitting assets. Once they advise you, take the advice.  Don't let your feelings about her (good or bad) or her current demands get in the way of the best, most efficient settlement.

Negotiate with your spouse like she's someone you barely know, because in 5 years she'll be someone you barely know.  At that time, if you're still struggling while she's enjoying her financial freedom, you'll regret not taking the advice when it was given. 

Don't forget what assets you brought into the marriage when negotiating.  But, don't let your emotions control you either. So, when negotiating over a marital asset you both paid $100 to purchase 6 years ago, now worth $10, don't spend $1,000 fighting over it.  Stay reasonable and watchful of costly legal fees as a result of "right is right".  It just leads to "wrong is wrong" on your bottom line.


2. Savings Account

Even if you have limited funds available, save something. Even $5 or $10/week is fine! If money is tight, try to find some additional income sources. Check out the 2020 DMK Best Automatic Savings Apps for ways to save effortlessly!


1. DMK "Been there, done that" Advice

DMK must-haves always include the "must-have nots" since they can really mess a guy up when he's emotionally and financially freaked out when going through a divorce. Trust us, we've been there and many of us have done that.  We've learned our lessons the hard way. Hopefully you won't. So here it goes:

Let's start here

Don't do "when divorcing".  Don't do "ever".  Don't do "to anyone".

Guy things, dad mistakes and beyond...

Don't man-up by manning-down during divorce. 

Be the guy you are, don't change to be someone your ex or anyone made you feel like you weren't.  A guys confidence isn't about looks, career or money.  It's just easier to be confident when you have those things going for you.   It says more about you when you project confidence despite your imperfections. 

Not too long...

Don't lose your brain in the divorce, don't be immature or stupid

Don't ask

It. Makes. You. Mad. 

We don't always get what we deserve, thankfully

Don't get an "I deserve this" anything before your divorce is final. Not sure? If you're not sure, it's probably gonna cost you a lot and you shouldn't get it. ...and that will bring us back to: 

 


Her Must-Haves When Divorcing

20. New Shoes

Buy a new pair of shoes and walk right out of a marriage that caused you pain!

If you're still feeling the pangs of your unhealthy marriage, buy a pair of sneakers to represent a new healthier you.  If you felt you lacked support from your spouse, buy a pair of walking shoes with great support.  If you felt like you lost a part of who you truly were, buy a pair of shoes that reminds you of the real you.  They could be boots, heels, sandals or anything that will give you a little more strength to keep your life moving in the right direction.  BTW, that's moving forward, focused on the future.  Ever try to walk forward while looking backwards?   Um.  You don't get very far doing that.

Feel empowered to make good, positive changes in your life with every step you take.  Seems like a small, trivial thing to buy a pair of shoes, but just like each step - small, inspiring things like this add up.  Before you know it, you'll have completed your journey, easily impressed at just how many steps you've taken - one small, positive step at a time.

Girlfriend, buy the shoes!


19. Magazine Subscription

Social media and blogs are great, but sometimes a good magazine or e-mag subscription does a better job at helping you tune into the world outside of divorce. There are many magazines on the market. Pick one that you would really enjoy and veg out at the pool, on the couch or anywhere!  Make reading periodicals part of your new "me" time.  They'll keep you up-to-date on the latest trends, happenings and technology.  Unlike social media, they aren't as much "read me now" as "read me whenever the he%# you feel like it".  There are magazines about home décor, fashion, investing, budgeting, parenting, technology, sports, sewing, celebrities, food and so much more!


18. Updated Look

It's a great time to update your look (clothes, hair, body, make-up). It doesn't matter if you plan to date right after your divorce or not, caring for your personal appearance is an investment in yourself.  It will help you rebound faster after the divorce and provide a boost to your self-esteem.  Even the smallest change can improve your confidence and mood.  So, don't change everything about yourself, just bring your look into 2020 and beyond.


17. Exercise

If you don't normally work out, join a nearby gym, get an affordable treadmill or exercise bike.  Stream a fitness program, get a DVD from your local library or invest in an affordable workout program.  Start a yoga or Pilates class to strengthen your body, reduce stress and meet new people! Even if you just go for an evening walk every night, it's important to keep regular physical activity in your daily schedule. 

Regular exercise is proven to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol), raise HDL (good cholesterol), improve blood flow and strengthen your heart muscle!  It improves mood, reduces stress, improves sleep and the risks of developing life threatening health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, depression and cardiovascular disease [source: Science Daily].

If you normally work out, try a new class at your gym or a new gym altogether.  It's easy to get stuck doing the same workout for years without benefits to certain muscle groups.  Different exercise machines or programs can produce significantly better results you never knew you could achieve. 

Also, a change of scenery can really add to your workout experience.   Walk, jog or play a sport outside one to two times per week.  Adding the natural environment can reduce stress even more than indoor activities.  


16. New Favorite Beverage

Sometimes when you're down in the depths of he%#, a little indulgence goes a long way. Consider a new flavorful seltzer, coffee beverage or tea. Be daring. Don't just grab a different flavor soft drink, try a new type of drink.

Go healthy with a homemade, blended drink with vegetables, fruit and yogurt or call upon the pros at Jamba Juice® for a Pomegranate Antioxidant Smoothie or Smoothie King® for a Wheatgrass Green Smoothie. 

You may find a new favorite go-to drink to help you get through these break-up blues.


15. New Meetup® Group Membership

While many people don't want to date until their divorce is final, joining a new Meetup® is a great way to get out there and stay social.  A new group of friends with similar interests and local events will help keep you focused on positive activities instead of ruminating over your divorce.


14. Skincare System

Don't let your complexion be another casualty of your divorce!

When you look tired, you feel tired.  So brighten up your skin, appearance and feelings.  It doesn't matter if you wear make-up routinely.  Invest in a new skincare system. Your face is an important part of YOU! Take care of it!  It's the only one you have and you're going to have it long after your divorce.  

A divorce adds stress, reduces sleep and is prone to induce a poor diet; all of which can cause break-outs and changes in skin tone.  Even if you've used the same skincare system for years, changes in stress hormones can really cause problems.  If your skin looks dull, irritated or blotchy, you could benefit from a new skincare regimen.  Most include: cleanser, toner, night cream and daily moisturizer with SPF. 

Beautiful skin is enviable and will improve your self-confidence.   Ultimately, you're the only person who can choose to care for your face and body, so care for them.


13. Condoms

The year is 2020.  Be ready for anything once you're single. While you may not have any intention on dating and having sex for awhile, stranger things have happened. Just make sure you have protection available if you need it.

There are many different condoms on the market including female condoms which are nearly as effective as traditional if used correctly.  However, it may be best to start with the traditional kind if you are unsure about how the female condoms work.  If having sex with a new person, you may be nervous and "condom" problems can make for an awkward encounter.


12. Massage Package or Machine

It's not easy being alone during divorce.  It can be one of the most stressful times in your life. The power of touch and massage from your spouse is gone when it's most needed.  Don't underestimate the benefits of a massage package at a place like Massage Envy® or invest in a chair massager or neck massager. Physical tension can come from and add to your daily stresses.  So, unwind and destress with massage (husband free).


11. New Bedding

It may surprise you how much more comfortable you'll be with new bedding and perhaps a plush mattress topper.  Try some super soft satin, Pima or Egyptian cotton sheets, a new comforter and frilly pillows.  You'll get a better night's sleep and feel empowered by 100% bed ownership! 

The bed is only the beginning to making the bedroom into "your" bedroom without compromise!  Make it pink, add floral wallpaper or get inspired by dark and dreamy!  Just make it "yours"!


10. Journal

You don't have to be a great writer to revel in the freedom of your written expression.  Buy a .99 notebook or a journal that inspires youIt could be a hardcover, textile, vintage or anything! 

Write about whatever you want.  It shouldn't be a chore; so, don't force yourself to write daily.  Instead, write whenever you feel like it.  Write about the good, the bad and the ugly.

Write away your anger, sadness and fear.  But, don't limit your journal to mostly negative emotions or divorce relevant entries.  Write about your good days, new plans, hopes and dreams!

You can even make two separate journals, one that is a memoire about your strengths and courage to survive difficult experiences and people and the other dedicated to your super negative stuff.  Once your done with your negative journal you can burn it to represent your release of your painful experience and memories.


9. Anti-depressants (as needed)

Sometimes the reason for your blues is situational rather than a chemical imbalance and/or clinical depression.  An active, heathy lifestyle, talk or music therapy, social stimulation and achievements may be all that you need to fight the break-up blues. 

Contact your physician if your blues turn to depression and are unremittent despite your attempts to combat them.  He/she may recommend a prescription for an anti-depressant or anxiety reducing medication.  While it may still be precipitated by current events in your life, some situations can precipitate anxiety and depression which may actually make your situation worse.  It's a cycle that's hard to stop without medical intervention.  

There are numerous types of medications available to treat depression and anxiety.  If you've had a bad experience with one, consider a modified dosage of the same medication, name brand instead of generic, combination of two medications or a different type of antidepressant altogether.  There are other treatments for depression when medication fails. Consult your physician for more information.  Also, read our DMK article, "Depression. Real. Simple. Miserable" for more information about depression and medications.


8. Part-time job

If money is an issue, like it is for so many divorcing couples, get a side-hustle.  Even 10 hours a week at $10/hour can bring in enough for a car payment or utility bills every month.  Pick a part-time gig that's different from your everyday job and try to choose something that would be both fun and provide some extra money. That way, it won't seem like you're putting in fifty plus hours a week doing the same thing.  It will just be a new, exciting activity that brings in extra cash!  Read our DMK article, "Part-time jobs" for more information about high-paying, part-time jobs!


7. Roadside Assistance and Emergency Kits

It's great to have an emergency roadside kit to keep in your car for emergencies. From caution flares to jumper cables, if you're comfortable changing your own tire or doing minor repairs to get back on the road, these kits are perfect. If not, then you may want to sign-up for a roadside assistance membership.  AAA covers vehicle lockout and battery service, flat tire help and fuel delivery. It can liberate you from the dreaded call to your soon-to-be ex-husband, family or friends when stranded.  It's a great way to stay safe and let a professional do the work. The annual cost starts at less than $65 and is worth peace of mind!


6. Home Warranty

It's easy to worry about every little thing that goes wrong with the house. While you may not want to work on the home yourself, you should have a basic understanding of the major systems and general maintenance. Then consider a home warranty. If the idea of uncle Fred trying to fix your furnace worries you, then a home warranty will be very helpful. A few hundred dollars provides peace of mind and coverage for many systems in your home. While it may not cover everything, the discounts and limited coverage will provide assurances and serious savings over the term of the warranty.


5. Legal and Financial Planning Advice

Most women don't do as well financially, following a divorce, as do men. Before making decisions relevant to your settlement, speak with legal and financial advisors who can guide you towards making wise decisions for now and your future. Then, (and this is important) take the advice.

Negotiate like a pro.  Don't be nice, overly patient or considerate of your spouse like he's your spouse. Negotiate with your spouse like he's someone you barely know, because in 5 years he'll usually be someone you barely know.  At that time, if you're still struggling while he's enjoying his financial freedom, you'll regret not taking good legal and financial advice about forward planning and negotiating.


4. Counseling

Shrewd negotiating doesn't mean emotions should call the shots. Emotional intelligence is very important during and after your divorce in order to get the best overall settlement. It's also one of the first things that typically "goes" in the divorce. A counselor can help you express your emotions so that they aren't in the way of settling your divorce in a reasonable time frame and to your benefit. He/she can also help you deal with your feelings in an effort to move forward with your life sooner than later.


3. Savings Account

Even if you have limited funds available, save something. Even $5 or $10/week is fine! If money is tight, try to find some additional income sources. Check out the 2020 DMK Best Automatic Savings Apps for ways to save effortlessly!


2. New Healthy Diet

While some of you may already have a healthy diet, many don't.  In fact, according to National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.  It may be time to reconsider our daily eating routine (our diet).

Get to know the basics about sugar, cholesterol, fat and carbs.  Sometimes finding out what damage these can do to your body is enough to make you rethink your daily burger. There are numerous healthy alternatives to many of the bad foods available.   Start reading the labels to know exactly what foods to avoid. Don't go on a diet!  Fad diet's fail more often than American marriages (nearly half of all marriages end in divorce)!  

Change your diet permanently. Add more good than bad and your body will thank you.


1. DMK "Been there, done that" Advice

DMK must-haves always include the "must-have nots" since each of them can really mess with a girl when she's emotionally and financially screwed up during divorce.

Trust us, we've been there and done that, learning our lessons the hard way.  Hopefully, it will help you avoid these common mistakes.  

First things first

Don't get intimate

Don't make major appearance changes

Don't start a new "bad girl" image, it won't help

Put romance on hold

They. Make. You. Sad.

Don't shop till you drop..or divorce

Not sure?

Well, if you're not sure, it's probably a "large purchase".  Don't buy it.

Be a smart negotiator


-OurDMK.com



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