Although divorce is one of the toughest problems you may face, there are certain things you can do to reduce the pain and make the process easier. Unfortunately, some of these divorce steps are steps no one talks about and you may not realize until years after the divorce is over.
One of the most common mistakes is going to a divorce lawyer and announcing you want a divorce without proper preparation. You might put the lawyer in charge, but you are also likely to increase hostilities between you and your spouse and increase the cost of the divorce.
Let’s review a few divorce steps that someone may never tell you but could protect you during divorce.
Divorce Step #1
Determine whether the marriage can be saved
Many divorced couples admit that they are just as unhappy five years after the divorce as they were in there marriage. Custodial issues, dating, loneliness- it can call contribute to discontent.
Unfortunately, many of the issues you might face after divorce are difficult to predict. For example, one divorced woman, we’ll call her Jill, reported to me that she never imagined that her children would still be struggling with her divorce five years after it was finalized.
Before filing for divorce, consider counseling, separation, or simply letting time pass and evaluating whether your situation may improve.
Divorce Step #2
Consider filing divorce without hiring a lawyer
Although many divorces may be too complicated to consider not retaining legal help, there are some divorces, especially those without many assets or children, that can be completed without legal help. Consider saving the thousands of dollars and seeing if you can come to an agreement outside the legal system.
Divorce Step #3
Get informed about the divorce process
Divorce can be very expensive. The worst thing you can do is to go see a lawyer without understanding what they can do for you and without gathering the proper information. Remember, your lawyer could charge as much as $150 to $300 (or more). Make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you make your visit.
Understanding the facts of your case, your assets and liabilities, what custody arrangement you would like, and that there are no winners in divorce is critical to saving money. It’s also important to take your time and not make any critical decisions too quickly without evaluating the consequences.
Divorce Step #4
Don’t bad-mouth your spouse
Speaking critically about your spouse is one of the worst but most common mistakes made. If it’s done in front of the children, this can be especially detrimental. In fact, psychological studies have shown that fighting during a divorce increases the emotional damage to the children.
Consider; unless there has been abuse in the home or the court determines your spouse is an unfit parent, your children will probably continue to have a relationship with your spouse. The best course of action is to encourage a healthy parent-child bond.
Divorce is not easy. No divorce is the same so information you get from other people could also be misleading or simply wrong. There are, however, common divorce steps that can make the divorce better.
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