Going through a divorce is a complicated process. Even if your situation feels straightforward, there is a lot to navigate and consider. Many people going through divorce are experiencing it for the first time, which makes everything feel foreign and confusing.
Fortunately, the divorce process does not need to be this way. There are simple practices that can help to make your divorce proceedings go smoothly. These practices can also help to maximize your settlement and ensure that property division is fair and equal.
- Do Hire a Lawyer
Many couples go into divorce thinking that they can navigate the process on their own. However, even the most amicable divorces require legal help and advice. Though the split may be friendly at first, most divorcing couples hit at least one rough patch during the process. You are likely to disagree on some details of the divorce, and without legal representation or professional mediation, these disagreements can get ugly. If you wish to preserve your best interests, or create a friendly relationship with your ex-spouse, an attorney is essential.
- Don’t Complain to Your Kids
Badmouthing your ex-spouse to your shared children is a huge mistake during a divorce. If your ex-spouse discovers what you’ve said, your actions will likely be held against you in court. You may lose out on custody of your children as a result.
Additionally, it is detrimental to the health and well-being of your children to hear one parent complain to them about another. The process is called triangulation and can result in significant mental and emotional issues for them as they grow.
- Do Seek Help From a Therapist
Divorces are stressful and emotional. It is natural to feel as though you need to talk to someone about what is happening in your life. Just because your children are off-limits doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to anyone. A licensed counselor or therapist is a wonderful resource. Because of HIPAA regulations they cannot disclose your complaints or issues to your ex or their attorney, meaning that your feelings are safe from the scrutiny of the court.
- Don’t Take to Social Media
In the modern age, many people turn to social media as a source of connection and support. However, it is unwise to overuse social media when you are going through divorce proceedings. Anything you say or do online can be used against you in court, meaning that you could jeopardize your child custody agreement, your spousal support, or even your settlement without realizing it.
If you must use social media during this process, be sure to adhere to the following:
- Don’t post pictures of yourself at parties, with alcohol, or doing drugs. Even if your behavior is legal, your ex can use these photos as proof that you are an unfit parent.
- Don’t post about lavish vacations or purchases. This implies that you have significant spending money and may imply that you are hiding assets.
- Don’t post about a new partner. Though you may have a new, healthy relationship, wait until your divorce is finalized before announcing it to the digital world. You don’t want the court scrutinizing your new relationship for potential marriage infidelity.
- Don’t complain about your ex. Their lawyer can use these posts as proof of defamation of character in court.
The best idea is to deactivate or avoid social media altogether, if possible.
- Do Discuss Co-Parenting Strategies
If you and your ex have children together, it is important to work as a team when it comes to your children. This begins when you notify your children of your divorce and continues as long as your children are part of your lives. Talk about desired custody arrangements and try to come up with a plan to present to the court. Refrain from fighting or letting your children in on your personal issues when explaining your divorce. Decide what kinds of behaviors are okay and not okay when around each other and your shared children. Setting boundaries right away might be painful, but it sets the foundation for a healthier future for your whole family.
- Don’t Lie to Your Lawyer
It is essential that you are honest and direct when you speak with your attorney. Remember, their job is to help you, but they cannot do that if you do not tell them the truth. Disclose all of your assets and give them a full picture of why you are divorcing. Don’t worry about how you will look. Their job is to position your story in a way that supports your best interests.
- Do Focus on Yourself
During this tumultuous time, it is important to carve out space to care for your physical and emotional well-being. Allow yourself to process your emotions and be patient when you have tough days. Immersing yourself in hobbies such as reading, biking, art classes, or meditation can really help you to feel independent and centered, and can rejuvenate you when you feel depleted by the divorce process.
- Don’t Assume You’ll Get What You Want
You may want to keep the family home, or believe that you have a claim to a certain vehicle or tech product. Try to reign in your expectations, because it is possible that you will not get these things. In some cases, couples can work out asset division equally without much fuss, while other situations require them to sell the assets and divide the money properly.
The best you can do is discuss your wants with your attorney and be honest about what you are willing to forfeit to get it.
- Don’t Panic
Divorce is difficult, but with an experienced attorney, you are sure to be okay. Try to remain calm, and trust that your lawyer will do their best for you. Becoming panicked or emotional only makes the process harder.
Contact Stange Law Firm
Here at Stange, we specialize in family law, and are experts at the divorce process. We can help you to navigate the process with ease, and help you to create a new family structure that works for you. Contact us today.