June 13, 2011
Divorce Advice for Now and Later
In the heat of the moment, tempers flare, emotions run wild, and decisions get made that unfortunately affect everyone in the short and long term. The simple act of taking a breath before saying or doing something you may regret, especially during the divorce process, will help to not only alleviate a great deal of the tension involved, but also protect you and your loved ones in the future by eliminating any repercussions from bad choices made under pressure or stress you may be feeling now.
By following some very simple guidelines however, you can navigate this process calmly and sanely, regardless of your emotionality and stress levels. If you would like to spare yourself and your loved ones from a long, emotionally and financially draining process, practice the following steps whenever and as much as possible:
Compromise with your soon-to-be-ex. Divorce is one of the most important areas of your life for teaching the skills of compromise, cooperation, and understanding. Learning how to let go and flow in a give and take kind of attitude will go a very long way toward soothing nerves and speeding the divorce along to a conclusion.
Discuss all arrangements, changes, visitation, support payments, and anything else that involves your children both with your spouse and your children. Keeping your spouse aware of your intentions and actions, especially with regard to your children, will save you both from unnecessary and destructive behaviors and decisions before they have a chance to happen.
Support your children. They are going through far more than you can imagine or they are showing. Giving them a hard time, or making things more difficult for them by forcing them to choose sides, or make decisions that are beyond them is unfair, unkind, causes them untold amounts of stress and pain, and only alienates them from you later in life.
Disclose all of your information about your assets, liabilities, and property. There is little that can compare to the embarrassment and time that gets wasted by people who lie or try to cheat their soon-to-be-ex out of certain financial support.
Stay local and avoid making any major life changing decisions during this process. This will allow you, and your children if you have any, to adjust to the major changes that are already going to occur through the divorce process. Additionally, moving out of state or even to another county, could hinder and slow down your divorce in the courts, making it take longer to be finalized.
Avoid giving away your assets to friends or family with the intent of getting it back later on. Your spouse will always have the option of modifying the financial arrangements anyway, and may elect to take you to court again if assets disappear then reappear in your name.
Honor any temporary restraining or no-contact orders as the legally binding, criminally enforceable documents that they are. Even if you are being kept away from your children during this time, the worst decision you can make is to violate a court order. This kind of action will put you in danger of being found in contempt, placed in jail, and/or will seriously mar your divorce case; perhaps to the point of causing you to have to pay additional fees or costs, requiring supervised visitation with your children, or otherwise altering the visitation that you would prefer with your child.
Ask your attorney for more information, better clarification, or to help you make sense of anything and everything you don’t understand. There are no silly questions, and you’ve retained him for this very reason – to help you through your divorce every step of the way.