Divorce may be one of the most stressful events of a person’s life. Every divorce is different, and sometimes there’s not a lot you can do to make the situation better—a lot depends on your spouse’s behavior as well.
But there may be some steps you can take to mitigate the most difficult circumstances of divorce.
Here are a few things to try.
Be as Civil as Possible To Your Spouse
Emotions can run hot during a divorce. You may feel hurt, betrayed, heartbroken and furious or all at the same time and it’s possible your spouse may be feeling something similar.But divorces are far more expensive and more emotionally draining when the two sides let their negative feelings take the process over. The mediation process is designed to facilitate compromise and when one or both of you refuses to do that, you’ll wind up going to court. Once there, you’ll have less control over the outcome.
You can do your part to keep things from devolving by maintaining a civil demeanor at all times. Avoid getting drawn into arguments. Try to stay level-headed, even if your spouse is provoking you. Remember, it’s not forever – just until your divorce is finalized.
Don’t Say or Write Things That Can Be Used Against You Later
Here’s another reason to keep things civil: your spouse may use things you say, especially in emails and text messages, in the heat of the moment against you in court. This can sometimes affect the outcome of a divorce case.
Your spouse may know how to push all your buttons, but don’t let yourself be provoked. Don’t say anything in an argument to your spouse that you wouldn’t want repeated in front of a judge.
Keep Careful Financial Records
In dividing your financial life, you’ll need all the records you can get – records that detail what debts and assets you and your spouse came to the marriage with, which ones occurred during the marriage, the deeds and titles to property you both owned, and more.
If your divorce goes to court, you’ll have to make a strong case for what you’re entitled to. So it’s essential to make sure all your records are in order.
Keep a Record of Your Interactions With Your Spouse
Your spouse’s behavior can have a major impact on your divorce settlement, specifically if there are abusive or harassing patterns. But you’ll have to keep a record of that behavior.
If you’re on the receiving end of frightening, harassing or controlling behavior, be sure to note down exactly what happened, when, and where.
Stay in Your Children’s Lives
If you’re not the primary caretaker at the moment, do everything you can to stay in the kids’ lives – if it’s allowed. Go to their sporting events and concerts. Take them on outings.
Divorce is extremely painful and disruptive for kids, so make sure they know that you love them and you’ll always be in their lives, even after you and your ex have split up.
Don’t Say Negative Things About Your Spouse
Avoid saying anything negative about your ex, to your kids especially, but also to mutual friends and family members. Those things have a way of getting back to your spouse and could inflame relations between you, leading to a more difficult divorce process.
No doubt you have some legitimate complaints. But save them for people who are your friends and family alone—or your therapist.
Talk to a Therapist
Speaking of which, this may be one of the most important times in your life to seek the help of a good therapist. Chances are you have a lot of strong feelings about this divorce, and you need someone on your side who can listen without judging and without it getting back to your ex.
You’ll also need someone to help sort through your feelings, look at situations objectively, set healthy boundaries, and manage your responses. Your friends and family may not have the expertise to provide the in-depth help you need at this difficult time, so a great therapist can be invaluable.
Hire a Qualified Divorce Attorney
The attorney you choose can make a huge difference in how smoothly your divorce proceeds, whether the process gets drawn out to a ridiculous extent, and whether your rights are honored.
Ideally, your attorney will be able to serve as an effective and strong advocate for you whether you stay in mediation or have to go to court.
Work with a Divorce Lawyer with Experience
The lawyer you choose can have a profound impact on the outcome of your divorce. You need someone who will work as hard as they can to ensure you get the best result possible.
If you’re going through a divorce, don’t wait to hire an attorney with extensive experience. Call us at (770) 479-1500 for a free, confidential consultation today.
Amanda Speights is a co-founder and lead family law attorney at Speights Law, PC in Cherokee County. She is an experienced family law lawyer who handles an assortment of domestic cases, including divorce, child custody, child support, appeals and other types of litigation in the state of Georgia. To contact Amanda, please visit our contact page.