We often turn to friends for advice when we should be seeking advice from a divorce attorney.
Divorce can be an unfortunate experience in one’s life, and despite how common it may appear to be these days, it is still not a decision that should be taken lightly. Almost no one ever gets married thinking that it will end up in divorce, but if that ends up being the case, it is important to know the best way how to handle such a trying process. There are many different reasons on why couples decide divorce is their only option which is why the following are a list of five tips that will help you deal with this emotional situation by protecting yourself, while also doing your best in trying the keep the peace in such a difficult time.
Here are my 5 tips for successfully navigating the divorce process.
1. Set your rules and boundaries early on
Obviously, emotions will be running high on both sides. but it is the hope that the two of you will be able to communicate in a healthy matter and be able to discuss things like rational adults. That being said, this can be a very heated time for the two of you, and arguments about how to handle things are very common in these situations. Regardless, it is important to try and come to terms on exactly what boundaries are going to be put into place. This often may not be something you both will be civil enough to decide on without the help of a mediator or attorney, which again is a very common occurrence.
2. Decide on whether you want to go with a mediator or an attorney
If at all possible, try to find a qualified mediator who is also an attorney. This may be your best bet in trying to salvage some sort of relationship with your partner going forward, rather than having your divorce proceeding turn into an all-out war. Not only will a mediator save you money, but if you see yourself having to still deal with your partner at some point down the road, this might help you leave at least a semblance of a positive relationship.
3. Whichever way you decide to handle things and/or whatever you both agree on put it in writing
Whether your divorce process is going amicably or not it is an extremely important step to make sure you write down any and all boundaries and rules that you both agree on going forward. If before the divorce is final you have both already agreed on the timelines of moving out of the house or who gets custody of the children during the week and over the weekend, make sure to have these decisions put in writing so that there does not have to be any debate about these issues in the future. Do not rely on just getting the other’s word alone, as emotions and situations can change, and what seemed like what would be a done deal could all of a sudden change very quickly on a whim. Having the agreements written down can take this unfortunate reality out of the question, especially if you figure out what the repercussions will be if either party does not adhere to the written agreement.
4. No matter what the children always come first
Divorce can be an extremely stressful time for the once happy couple, but no one is affected more by divorce than the children. Everything that you try to plan from this point forward should have your children’s best interests in mind, and you should always be asking what is the best decision for your child rather than what you want for yourself. This is not the time to try and take custody of your children just because you know it will aggravate your spouse, but instead, to focus on what is the best course of action to take care of your children and what is the smartest route you each can take to ensure your child’s safety and happiness. Your children deserve to be at the center of attention throughout the entirety of this whole ordeal, and no matter what feelings you have towards one another, they should never be held against your children on any decision that needs to be made.
5. Out with the old and in with the new
The reason you are both getting divorced is simple: You tried to make it work, but you no longer wish to be together. Even if this feeling is only one-sided, that is enough to know that the relationship you both once had is now over. This does not necessarily mean it has to be the end, however–especially if there are children involved. Now is the time to create a new relationship, one that does not have to contain the old patterns or situations that brought everyone to where they are today.