Achieving a healthy divorce that results in a peaceful end to your marriage rather than a bunch of bickering and emotional upheaval is possible. It does not matter how many contentious courtroom divorces you and your family have seen play out on television — trust us when we say they do not represent the vast majority of cases or your unique situation. And it does not matter how many friends or coworkers tell you to “get all you can get” and “take em to the cleaners.”
You and your soon-to-be former spouse can do things differently. Also, you simply have to want to do it differently.
You also have to be willing to follow a few rules along the way, which can sometimes be easier said than done. Here are 10 tips to keep your divorce process civilized, dignified, and healthy.
Cooperate and communicate
Your divorce does not have to be a competition to see who can ruin the other person’s life the fastest. Keep a clear mind, be respectful in all situations, and be open to a bit of give and take. If emotions are too high, take a break from discussing the case. Also, consider collaborative divorce or mediation to avoid going to court. Create a list of important things to discuss regarding your case resolution so that more is accomplished with each conversation.
Avoid the wrong advice
Your friends are just trying to help, and some of their advice may be useful in certain situations. But that does not mean you have to follow those tips to the letter of the law. Often, their advice is not always helpful or practical when they have never been in your shoes and cannot understand your desire for a healthy divorce.
Seek help from a counselor
To piggyback off the previous tip, seek help from a counselor. No one is prepared to deal with the emotions of a divorce —even if it is something you know is for the best. This is where sitting down one-on-one with a counselor, your pastor, and even a psychologist can help you process your feelings quietly and confidentially and help you adjust to change.
Hire the right lawyer
Yes, you want the best representation possible. But you also deserve a true advocate. This is someone who sees you as more than a case number. They are not interested in adding more fuel to the fire; all they are interested in is finding solutions to the issues that arise in your case. Take note of how interested they were in you and the facts of the case. Did they speak objectively with you about what your goals are? Lastly, did the lawyer offer practical advice, even if it meant talking you out of pursuing divorce?
Make requests, not demands
Demanding something from someone almost always leads to emotions spilling over because neither side wants to give an inch. Instead of appearing demanding, choose your words carefully and make suggestions and requests. This allows your spouse to share their feelings rather than feeling attacked or backed into a corner. Overall, you are more likely to end up with a healthy divorce.
The more you understand what you are facing, the better. What does your financial situation look like? How many accounts do you have together or separately? Where is all the important paperwork (taxes, deeds, life insurance documents, etc.)? What is your budget? What evidence do you think you need before you meet with a lawyer? Educating yourself makes your fear of divorce not as bad, and the chances of having a healthy divorce increase exponentially.
Keep your children top of mind
Your children’s lives will be impacted no matter how your divorce shakes out. And even before that, parents often become so preoccupied with the process that they forget their children are stuck in the middle. The most important duty is to show your children what a healthy relationship looks like — even if it is ending. The only way to change the results and create a healthy divorce is to change what you are doing.
Do not play the blame game
If you want a healthy divorce, avoid talking negatively about your soon-to-be former spouse or blaming them in public. This includes conversations you might have with your parents, friends, coworkers, and your children. Doing so only creates more angst and could paint them in an unnecessary light that they will not soon forgive if they find out what you have been saying.
Keep your expectations realistic
You may want a healthy divorce, and perhaps your spouse does, too. But no one said that process would be easy. And if you set your expectations too high, you will struggle to accept anything less than that. Temper your expectations, constantly communicate with your lawyer, and constantly keep your eye on the bigger picture.
Let your divorce lawyer take the wheel
If you want to achieve a healthy divorce and remain sane even in the most overwhelming situations, you must let your divorce lawyer take the wheel. Sure, there is prep work that you can do to eliminate unnecessary costs and make their job easier, but allow your lawyer the opportunity to develop a case strategy in consultation with you. They can even speak for you to avoid unnecessarily unhealthy conversations.
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
If divorce is the answer, you need a trusted advisor to guide you through each stage of your divorce and help you deal with the stress that naturally comes with that. We work diligently to achieve a result that ensures you receive what you are entitled to as you move forward onto the next stage of your life. The Nelson Law Group brings nearly two decades of family law experience to every case.
Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC, a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A Nelson, click here.