It is said the marriages are made in heaven. Divorces, on the other hand, can be arranged on earth.
Marriage is regarded as a sacred institution. And sacred it is, until both the partners decide that they can no longer co-exist peacefully as long as the marital knot binds them together.
An amicable divorce is most preferable, but a couple going through a bitter divorce is bound to experience tumultuous times, and find themselves in one of the most complex situations.
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As if the pressure of dealing with a failed marriage wasn’t enough, the added stress of enduring the nerve-wracking legal procedures had to come along too!
Nobody expects their marriage to end in a divorce, but some marriages do fail and divorce is a harsh reality. Because so many sentiments are involved, it is only human to respond emotionally at certain stages of a divorce.
Your words and actions can have long-lasting repercussions on the divorce process as well as on your loved ones, especially young children. In this post, we look at a few dos and don’ts of this process.
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1. Cooperate and Collaborate
The key to successful and effective divorce proceedings is cooperation and collaboration on the part of both the parties involved. While getting along may be difficult and working together might seem like a punishment, you can try and collaborate at least in areas where you still have things in common.
This will also help ensure that the divorce process is amicable, short and mutually beneficial. Stubborn and inflexible partners often end up wasting their time, money and energy. Further, they also ruin their chances of having a harmonious relationship in the future, and sometimes fail to reach any kind of agreement.
2. Be Solution-Oriented
While there will always be enough number of people to create problems, those who find pertinent solutions are rare to come by. That’s what you want to be. The solutions may not always be obvious, so you will have to think outside the box.
Talk to other people who may have been in similar situations as you. You need not find the perfect solution, but try to find one that is mutually agreeable and works for both, you and soon-to-be-ex.
3. Be Empathetic
While you obviously want to protect your own interests, it is also important to think through your would-be-ex’s point of view and take into consideration their wants and desires. Doing so will keep the antagonism at bay. Being empathetic will make you more productive and bring more positivity into a sensitive situation.
4. Keep Your Emotions under Control
What was once a loving and a nurturing relationship comes to an end with a divorce. There is a high possibility that emotions may run high and come to the forefront many times during the divorce process. Negative emotions such as anger and fear need to be kept under control.
It is important to approach the process with immense clarity in your thoughts. So do take a break if you think you need time to calm down, clear your head, and be productive again to keep your case strong.
5. Be Prepared
Hire the best lawyer you can, and make sure he’s from your area and knows about the divorce laws there. For example, if you live in Chicago, look for the best divorce lawyer Chicago.
Work with him closely and pay heed to his advice. If he asks you to come prepared with certain documents, do so as the process will probably be more effective that way. Being prepared will also ensure that you spend less time with your lawyer, thereby reducing the cost of your divorce.
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1. Intimidate or Get Intimidated
While you need not be aggressive during the divorce process, you also need to ensure that you don’t become a punching bag or a pushover either. There is a need to tread cautiously here and strike a balance between daunting the other party, and relenting to whatever they demand. Use this process as an even playing field to discuss issues in the most neutral way possible. Your lawyer can help you with that.
2. Hesitate in Expressing Your Views and Ideas
If you feel passionately about something related to your case, or have a unique idea to make the process a better and a simpler one, do not be afraid to voice it. Sometimes, even bad ideas can provide cues to a better one. So do express your views and opinions. Doing so can actually prove to be helpful during the divorce mediation.
3. Succumb to Negative Emotions
As already mentioned above, it is important to tackle your emotions and think practically. Anger and fear should have no place in your mind or heart, so irrespective of how hurtful the comments of your would-be ex may be, try to stay calm.
You’ll get a chance to express your side of the story to make it amply known. Remember, you cannot control another person’s thoughts and deeds, but you can definitely control your reaction to them.
4. Take Divorce Advice from Random People
Avoid seeking or accepting legal advice and assistance from people who aren’t qualified enough to help you in dealing with legal matters. Not even a mediator. If you think you need legal assistance, contact a qualified attorney who has prior experience in dealing with divorce cases. This is important if you want to avoid getting into legal trouble in the future.
5. Use Your Children
It is important to ensure that your children are least affected by your divorce. You don’t want to scar them for life, do you? Hence, refrain from discussing the nitty-gritty with them. Don’t question them about your soon-to-be ex or use them to pass on a message. Most importantly, don’t ask them to choose between their parents. Do not budge from the decided legal agreements, and try to minimize negativity as much as possible.
6. Hide Your Assets
Divorce cases require the complete and transparent disclosure of the assets owned by both the parties. Don’t withhold any information regarding this and put it all across the table, discuss it and collaborate to reach a final decision cordially.
Divorce isn’t easy on anyone involved – you, your soon-to-be ex, and especially your children are all bound to be affected by the ensuing separation. Steering through it can be a difficult process, both emotionally and legally. Engaging the services of a qualified and an experienced lawyer from your area can go a long way in helping you keep your cool, play your cards right, and settle the process in a desirable manner. The above points should also give you a fair idea of what you should and should not do to keep your case strong in such circumstances.