A divorce will change your life permanently. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make the process easier and less painful. Your mindset will make a huge difference. If you approach it filled with anger and resentment, you will experience greater emotional and financial upheaval.
Therefore, for your own sake, it will help to let yourself be guided by logic and clear thinking rather than bursts of out-of-control emotions. Here are some tips we recommend to help you get through this time:
1. Make sure a divorce is what you want:
The relationship is rocky, but is divorce your only option? You and your spouse may be having genuine problems. Friends and family can notice and urge you to split up. You might allow yourself to be pushed in that direction without considering other options, such as counseling. Frequently, communication and financial problems can be worked out if discussed and approached calmly. If you do that, you may discover that underneath the problems, love is still a huge factor in your relationship.
2. Continue to respect your spouse:
The reasons leading to your divorce may be serious – an affair, abuse, addiction, perhaps even something worse. You feel justified in making your soon-to-be-ex’s life as miserable as possible with a vigorous court battle.
However, misery is a two-way street. You will go through all the stress, financial burden, and emotional pain that you are attempting to inflict on your ex-partner. It’s a no-win situation. By remaining civil and respectful, you will make an already bad situation less stressful. Showing respect means a win for you.
3. Develop a shared goal:
There is no doubt that a divorce can get extremely contentious. The process will be easier if you and your spouse can find at least one thing on which to agree. For example, it can be that the children will always come first, or that the assets should be split evenly. If you can work together to realize your shared goal, the remainder of your divorce will probably run more smoothly. Both of you win.
4. What Type of Divorce do You Envision?
Many couples believe that they need to go in front of a judge to be granted a divorce. Television shows have emphasized that idea. The truth is, a divorce trial is your most stressful way of accomplishing a split. There are other ways to go, and you may benefit financially and emotionally.
Consider mediation. A neutral mediator can help you resolve your disagreements without the high cost of using attorneys and without the emotional strain of appearing at a trial. If you still cannot arrive at an agreement on the major issues following mediation, you can move on to litigation.
A Collaborative Divorce is another option. In this instance, the parties get together with their respective attorneys and counselors, and accountants, if any, and work on a Marital Settlement Agreement. This Agreement spells out your mutual agreements on all major issues, such as children, alimony, and division of assets. This method keeps the discussions out of court and helps you maintain your privacy.
Before you jump into a divorce with both feet, consider which options are best for you.
5. Considerer therapy:
Divorce is all about high emotions that can become out of control. Anger, anxiety, and animosity are the norm. For the smoothest possible divorce, don’t hesitate to seek counseling. Counseling is the time to give in to those out-of-control emotions. Venting will help you think clearer and work toward a better future rather than wallowing in the misery of the loss you are going through.
6. Work with a mediator:
You may be doing well in keeping your emotions under control. Still, you are dividing a life, and frequently, an entire family. This can be overwhelming, to say the least, even with an attorney at your side. The issues of dividing assets and custody of the children frequently demand compromise and discussion. This is where a neutral mediator can be indispensable to help you overcome your emotions and arrive at a mutually agreed-upon settlement agreement.
This may take several meetings, but the end result will lead to a more amicable split.
7. Working through a separation:
There are obviously problems in the relationship, or you wouldn’t be getting a divorce. However, it will make both of your lives easier if you treat each other with courtesy – like a business partner. You don’t have to like him or her, but you need to work together.
Respond to phone calls and other messages promptly. Do not disparage your soon-to-be-ex to friends, family, or on social media. Be cooperative and share any necessary information regarding finances or the children with your spouse. Regardless of who is at fault, treat yourself with respect by treating your spouse with respect.
Remember that prior to, during, and after the divorce, you are still a unit when it comes to raising your children. You have mutual family members and friends and will likely attend some of the same events, such as birthdays and weddings. Subtly ignore your ex if you must, be civil if you can, but do not get into an argument and add additional tension to the moment.
8. Limit any major changes:
Separation is the beginning of a whole new life. But approach it slowly. This is not the time for a major new purchase, such as a car, or a celebratory vacation cruise. You are still functioning emotionally, so caution is advised.
9. Talk about your plans:
If you can sit down have a civilized discussion, it may be helpful to do so. Discuss whether either of you is planning on dating. What will happen during the holidays? Talk over any issues on which you still disagree. If necessary, discuss bringing in a mediator.
Everyone handles divorce differently. For the most pleasant process, move slowly and be guided by your intelligence instead of your emotions.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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