How to Help Your Divorce Case Go Smoothly
Divorce is never easy, but if a couple can set a goal of keeping things fair and avoiding blame, it’s possible to split in a way that isn’t destructive. Set your target early in the divorce process. Determine your vision for the end of the split and how you want things to look further down the road, and hang onto those goals.
Build Two Lives
In the contentious world of divorce, it can be very tempting to have one person come out on top. Regardless of the trigger for the divorce, blazing a path of destruction over the other person won’t be productive in the long term, particularly if you have children. Instead, focus on your vision for both of your lives in the future.
If you’ll be co-parenting, put in the time with your former partner to make sure that you will both be involved in childcare and what your custody goals are. Sit down together and write this out. Make it clear to your divorce lawyer that you have this part of the split well in hand.
Consider Using One Attorney
If you can split things amicably, you can save a lot of anguish and money. A contentious divorce can be extremely expensive. Some states require that you each have your own divorce lawyer, so be sure to study the law to make sure that both you and your former spouse can be represented effectively. If your state requires that you’re both represented, consider hiring a mediator to keep costs down.
The ability to hope for the best for your former spouse can be a serious challenge. A lot of water has already passed under the bridge that’s holding you together, and you’re about to close that bridge. However, each party will have a better chance of moving forward with a healthy mindset if the goal is two strong futures instead of one person suffering the blame.
Blame and anger can be good fuel for a time in the divorce process. Unfortunately, when you’re blaming someone else, you’re not focusing on your own strengths and your own future. In fact, you’re giving all of your power to the other party. If you can’t get past your anger, consider talking to a counselor who can help you change your focus to what you want in front of you, instead of what you’re leaving behind.
As possible, split your possessions into three groups:
- Personal objects that are easy to split
- Items you had when you paired up
- Things you acquired once you got together
The first two groups should be fairly simple to split. If funds are very tight as you try to set up two households, consider selling personal objects of value, such as jewelry or collectibles, to get both households on a solid footing. Both partners should be involved in these sacrifices. No, this won’t be pretty and may cause resentment. However, if you can remember that the goal is two people moving forward in a healthy way, these sacrifices are a means to an end.
The third group will be tough to split. Try to stay respectful of each other’s interests and hobbies. If one person is an active musician, it makes sense for them to get the piano. If one half of the pair is an avid reader, valuable books should probably go to them. Be detailed about this and be ready to take breaks and walk away to think.
A smooth divorce is possible if you can do your homework and avoid resentment and blame. If at any point either party gets emotional, make sure everyone gets a break. This will take time. Work toward fairness.