The divorce process can be filled with uncertainty, emotional anxiety, fear and confusion. From the moment you begin to contemplate that your marriage may be over — to the final signing of the divorce papers — you may experience one of the most emotionally draining periods in your life. During this time you will need sound legal guidance, financial planning and emotional support.
Once the divorce process begins there are many things you need to make sure you DO and there are other things you should avoid and NOT do.
Things you may NOT wish to do during the divorce process:
DO NOT engage in conflict – the divorce process brings out many emotions — the good, the bad and the ugly. Focus on the legal outcome. The reality is that neither your attorney nor the Judge is interested in the conflict between you and your ex. Their job is to reach a fair and legal settlement. If your ex is angry, do NOT respond to anger with anger of your own.
- DO NOT become uncompromising – when negotiating a settlement or working on child custody, it would be best to stay flexible. If you are unable to meet your ex half way, you may find yourself walking away with far less than you could have if you were willing to compromise.
- DO NOT overspend money – divorce can be expensive. Start saving for the future now, this may mean cutting out luxuries of the past. Although this may seem stressful at first, the financial freedom in your future will be well worth the discomfort now.
- DO NOT forget about taxes – make sure you discuss whether you can afford paying your taxes on items such as your home and other assets once the division has occurred.
- DO NOT take it out on your children – during this trying time, your children need a supportive environment. They need to know they are loved by both parties and that the divorce will help alleviate stress for everyone allowing for more peaceful relationships down the road.
- DO NOT rule out a Collaborative Divorce – this method is more cooperative and less adversarial than traditional divorce. In many cases, the divorce could cost less than going through the traditional court system. Also, you and your ex get to call the shots for your divorce, not a court judge.
- DO NOT behave badly – this may be the most difficult task, especially if the other party is being underhanded or nasty.
If you can come out of the divorce process with self respect, dignity and peace of mind you will find it much easier to move on and rebuild your life.