Divorce is an emotional roller coaster ride, and it is not an easy journey to make. It is important to avoid a messy and expensive divorce, to protect your whole being and that of your children. Matters concerning family are often complicated and emotions are running high. Aside from the emotional aspect, financial resources should also be taken into consideration before going through the whole life changing process.
Tip #1 - Understand Your Emotions
It may be difficult, but understanding unresolved emotions is a very important consideration before moving on to another chapter of your life. It will help you to understand your motives for the divorce and also help you to be responsive rather than reactive to any irrational demands or accusations being thrown at you by your soon to be former spouse. The judgment of a responsive person is not muddled, whereas the decisions made by a reactive person are bound to be sources of regret after the dust from the divorce has settled.
Tip #2 - Think about Your Children
While you are undergoing this challenging time in your life, remember that your children are watching you. They will feel your pain and stress and will turn it on themselves. It is quite common for children to feel that they are the reason for the divorce; even minor infractions may be turned into major offenses in the mind of a child. Young children's brains are not mature enough to understand rational explanations. The emotional world of children is very black and white. They have a hard time compartmentalizing the parent's emotions about the divorce. Children will have a tendency to personalize the anger that parents feel.
Although it is important to inform and explain to children what is happening, it is best to give simple explanations and protect children from witnessing ugly emotional scenes. It might be beneficial for children to have professional help if necessary.
Do not involve your children in the falling out of your relationship with your spouse. Do not use them as pawns to achieve your financial goals (the court frowns on any manipulation of children) and do not lie to them (they need to know they can trust you because their world is falling apart). If you are able to show your children strength and resilience, they will follow your example.
Tip #3 - Radiate an Aura of Dignity
Do not conduct your divorce proceedings or your dealings with your soon to be ex spouse as if you are in a war zone. It is advisable to keep your communications measured and never allow yourself to become personal or critical of your spouse or their lawyer. Be practical when you approach the issues that will arise over the course of the proceedings. Keep in mind the costs of your fight, emotionally and financially and the value of what your endeavor is all about.
Tip #4 - Tell the Truth
This is a must in all matters. Tell the truth even if it hurts. Avoiding the truth may lead you to being penalized by the court and in such a way it will increase the cost and may avoid an early settlement in the proceedings.
Tip #5 - Know Your Properties and Your Debts
It is important to identify and know your assets, as well as the debts you have incurred together with your spouse. This is important in discussing your divorce with your lawyer, since your lawyer will work to protect your best interests with respect to your properties before, during and after the divorce.
If possible, communicate and try your best to discuss with your spouse what you feel is best for the family when it comes to dividing your assets. Primary concern should be on the children's welfare.
Tip #6 - Contemplate Whether You are Going to Mediate or Litigate
Be open to the possibility of exploring mediation, which is an alternative to litigation. Attempt to work out your differences with a third party to find a fair solution to which you are both amenable. Mediation tends to be much cheaper. Litigation on the other hand tends to be a bit more expensive and longer.
Tip #7 - Choosing a Lawyer
It is equally important to choose an attorney to help you understand each step of the divorce. An attorney will usually require regular consultation (which is one of the most expensive parts of the divorce). To keep your legal expenses down, make sure you are not leaning on your attorney too much. Only see your lawyer when you need to address specific legal issues. It is also advisable that you research about divorce law, in order for you to ask relevant informed questions to your lawyer. This reduces the amount of time you spend consulting and correspondingly lowers your legal bills.
Take these points into serious consideration and you will simplify the divorce process and begin paving the way to your new life.