Divorce is a psychologically complex process, which is accompanied by a vast number of stressful situations, financial expenses, and a sharp change in the usual way of life. No wonder it brings out the worst in people. And so you don’t turn from a good person into a villain and rid yourself of plenty of nervous upheavals, you should approach this issue responsibly and keep a cool head.
As additional support during this challenging period, OnlineDivorce.com in California asked its divorce experts to formulate the basic principles through which it is possible to cope with a divorce process more easily and with less loss.
1. Be 100% confident in your choice
A divorce is always a traumatic event, not only for you, but also for your spouse, children, and, in a sense, even relatives. Therefore, before you get the process started, make sure of two things:
You did everything you could to save the relationship.
This is necessary so that later, when emotions subside, and resentments recede into the background, you aren’t sad that you could have fixed it. Did you try to talk openly with each other? Have you turned to a family therapist? Have you tried to admit your own mistakes and work on them? If you conclude that all attempts to change something have already been tried and have failed, then the complex divorce process will be more manageable for you.
This is an informed decision that will lead to quality changes in your life.
Between trying just to run away from the problem and trying to make your life better, there is an astonishing gulf. Fleeing, you are likely to cause even more problems for yourself and you won’t learn from your mistakes and past life situations. Only if you have weighed all the factors involved and have concluded that your marriage, for some good reason, makes you a miserable person, act in the name of a happier and joyful life.
2. Accept that this is the only right way
Of course, during the divorce, there are days when everything seems unbearable, and you want to hide and forget about the problems, be distracted. But understand that this is the worst moment to do what many resort to, being unable to cope with their feelings. Some begin to be “treated” with alcohol, others with all kinds of medicines (from harmless to very dangerous), others engage in sexual intercourse with the wrong people.
Each of these options can help you temporarily feel better. But still, this is self-deception, and later you may have to pay a high price for such weaknesses. In the hour of despair, remember the work on yourself from paragraph 1: you have already done everything you could to save the marriage, and you concluded that it is impossible to keep the relationship. Remembering this, take for granted the fact that the only right way is the way forward.
3. Prepare the necessary documents
The more organized you are, the higher the chance you can terminate the marriage with the most acceptable result for you. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to start collecting documents. Just and accurate information is the main component of a fair trial, so collect in a folder any papers that may have at least the slightest significance during the divorce proceeding. Organize your documents so that you can easily navigate them.
You also need to evaluate the property. As a rule, during a divorce, almost any property becomes a subject of controversy, no matter whether the spouses go to trial or try to make a settlement agreement on their own. A reasonable decision would be to hire a specialist in this field. For example, it may be a mediator or unbundled attorney.
Limited scope representation and discrete task representation may save you money, compared to hiring an attorney for the whole divorce process and paying hourly fees.
4. The most expensive lawyer is not always the best one
You must be careful when choosing your lawyer since it is he or she who can set the tone for the whole divorce process. Remember that the lawyer should not only be an experienced professional but also become your partner during the entire proceeding. More precisely, it is understood that a good lawyer should not only advise you on what to do but also listen to your opinion and respect your position in the negotiations. Therefore, the high hourly rate does not guarantee that the specialist will take into account your preferences.
Besides, feel free to consider the advantages of do-it-yourself divorce, online divorce, collaborative divorce, and other alternative options. Do not ignore free legal advice as well. Many lawyers provide this opportunity, and this allows you to look at several approaches at once, which makes the probability of the right choice higher.
5. Do not let emotions guide your financial decisions
Sometimes, people want to unleash their pain and anger on their exes, but it is a bad strategy. You should not let your emotions get in the way.
In the end, your anger can be detrimental to your finances. You should not make a scandal over some $100 coffee table bought by your spouse. But the same way, you should not proudly give up everything that was acquired by joint work, allegedly because of self-esteem.
As soon as you decide to file for divorce, you need to free your heart and head from anxiety and perceive the process calmly and in a businesslike manner. Do your best to separate emotions from facts, stop hating, and focus on an equitable and satisfying result.
6. The ability to compromise will be your advantage
To win something, you have to lose something, and this is inevitable. Therefore, it is worth treating compromises as a way to make everything simpler and act more wisely and not as a manifestation of weakness.
Of course, you may have a desire to rush into battle in case of any divergence of views, but if you approach everything with a cool head, you will understand in time what is worth and what is not worth your time and energy. Thus you can save yourself a lot of nerves, as well as time and money for legal costs. As a bonus, your tact, discretion, and willingness to compromise on one issue may inspire your spouse to act the same in another.
7. Get ready for the fact that the distribution of property is a very complicated process
Despite the ability to smooth things over, the division of marital property will still be a laborious process. Many lawyers joke that property negotiations are a separate art form. And it consists of three main steps: data collection, their assessment, and the division itself. The second step is usually the most difficult, as it contains many pitfalls. For example, everything is simple with a bank account, but there can be much more problems with real estate, retirement payments, or securities.
Returning to the 6th paragraph, all the spouses have an opportunity to make decisions jointly and divide the property as they see fair, by concluding a settlement agreement out of court.
The Family Law sets some framework concerning the cost or length of the divorce process, and much depends on the relationship between the parties. Nevertheless, the outcome of a divorce is always unpredictable. Sometimes, the best people get bad results in divorce cases. Thinking of winning (or amicable divorce based on compromise) and having a positive attitude, it is still worth it to mentally prepare for the fact that everything can be not quite as you expected. Keep this in mind so as not to lose your composure and concentration.
And of course, do not forget to carry out all the preparatory work mentioned above to increase your chances of starting a new chapter in life without regrets.