Divorce Dos and Don’ts for couples
Divorce is never easy and it should be your last resort for an untenable situation. Keep in mind, even in the best divorce situations emotions and tensions can run high, and it can be easy to make a bad decision. There are several things that experts recommend that you do and do not do that can make the transition through the divorce easier for you and your children.
1. Don’t finalize the divorce too soon
One of the most important recommendations is to make sure you and your family are protected after the divorce. This may mean that the process may take longer to ensure your financial security. Talk to your lawyer about different types of divorces, many of which can save you and your spouse time and money, but make sure you know what you own and the debts you owe. Start collecting all of your financial documents including pension statements, tax forms, brokerage and mutual fund statements, credit card statements, and other records. Don’t look at divorce as a win/lose proposition. The typical divorce involves various issues, such as child custody, support, and the division of property. Find out the best solution for all parties to minimize friction and establish a positive future.
2. Don’t Take It Out On the Kids
Divorce is stressful enough on the children without you or your spouse making it more difficult for the kids. Kids love routine and the more you can help them maintain their schedule and stay involved with their lives the better. Talk to your children about the divorce but make sure you have energy to participate in their activities.
3. See a Counselor
Everyone needs support and a listening ear when they are going through a crisis. Whether it’s a good friend or a paid counselor, find someone to talk to about the emotions you are experiencing. Professional counselors can give you information about how to relax, how to talk to your kids, and how to remain calm in court.
4. This your divorce, not your best friends
Well intentioned friends may give you all sorts of advice about what should or should not happen in divorce. Many people have their own story but this is your divorce. Rely on advice from professionals such as a divorce lawyer or trusted counselor or maybe even your closest friends who understand the details of your case.
5. Consider alternatives to going to court
There are many divorce options. Find out what they are. If you and your spouse are able to negotiate face to face a mediator may be able to help you create a mutually satisfying divorce arrangement. Collaborative divorces are also common and allow each spouse to hire a divorce attorney to resolve divorce issues without going to court.
6. Don’t let your divorce define you
Mourning the end of a marriage is normal and can be healthy but obsessing or letting divorce define you for the rest of your life is not. Move on with your life, at the appropriate time, and start making decisions that can help your family heal. If you can learn to focus on the major issues and give a little on the smallest details you may be able to move through your divorce in a healthy way.