When I started as a family lawyer over 13 years ago, I was as new to the divorce process as anyone else. Having now been involved with hundreds of cases, some more difficult than others, I’ve learned some sage advice to give my clients. Divorce is by no means an easy thing to go through, but there are some things that you can do to make the process a little bit simpler and easier for you.
Here Are 8 Smart Lawyer Tips to Make Your Divorce Easier:
Observe Proper Timing
Divorce is as important as a couple’s decision as getting married is. You can’t force someone to get married the same way as you can’t just force a divorce on your spouse (setting aside special circumstances). It is best to talk things through before filing for a divorce so your partner won’t drag the process just to get back at you.
Open Your Own Bank Account
Ideally speaking, you should have your own bank account even when you are married but if that is not the case, then you should get one; whether you are getting divorced or not. Know that in cases of joint accounts, your spouse can drain your account without your consent so it is better to avoid this situation, to begin with, by having your own.
Ensure That You Have Time for a Divorce
Getting a divorce can eat up your time and the changes will be hard for you, your ex, and the children. By making sure that you have the time to devote to a divorce, not only will it make the process easier and faster but you will also have time to allow yourself and loved ones to transition into your new life. I’ve seen many cases where, although a divorce is needed, the timing causes havoc far beyond the existing marital issues.
Your Divorce Rationale Letter Should be Lawyer-Reviewed
If you are the one filing the divorce, you might be compelled to explain why to your spouse in writing. Because of guilt, raw emotions and history with your spouse, you might say things that can hurt you later on so it is better to have your lawyer review your letter to ensure it doesn’t contain anything that can be used against you.
Begin with a Lawyer and Lawyer Meeting
Most divorce cases are negotiation proceedings so having your lawyers meet in the beginning makes sense to minimize communication issues later. A lawyer to lawyer meeting like this often results in a win-win divorce with no need for dramatics.
A Second Opinion Won’t Hurt
A divorce is a one-time thing so it follows that you cannot make mistakes with it and end up with an even bigger problem. This is why a second opinion matters. Your lawyer will also usually welcome a second opinion from a respected colleague.
Ask for Relief When You Have Multiple Reasons to Do So
Filing a motion for every little thing and for the smallest of things will just annoy the judge, your spouse, your spouse’s lawyer, and your lawyer too. It is best to wait until you have a few things to address.
Expect that the reason for the Divorce Won’t Affect Who Gets Child Custody
It doesn’t matter if you are divorcing because your spouse used up all your money or you caught your partner cheating. Know that child custody goes to which parent has better means and ability to take care of any child from the marriage.
Going through a divorce will forever change your life, your ex’s and your children’s lives. How you go about it, can play a large role in how you persevere throughout the process and how you manage to turn the page and live your best life moving forward. From my experience, following these tips, the divorce process will be smoother and you’ll be better for it.