There's no way to sugarcoat it – divorcing your spouse is hard. It can be an emotional roller coaster, and navigating the legal process can feel daunting. But with a little preparation and understanding of the do's and don'ts, you can make the process as smooth as possible. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
1. Do Have an Experienced Divorce Lawyer By Your Side
While it can be tempting to go the DIY route, it's essential to have an experienced divorce lawyer in your corner. An excellent attorney will be familiar with the law and procedure and can guide you through the process while protecting your interests. They can also help maintain objectivity and keep emotions from running high. If you go DIY, you likely won't have this level of protection or expertise.
2. Don't Tell Your Kids Bad Things About Your Spouse
Your kids didn't ask for this divorce, and they shouldn't be put in the middle of it. Refrain from saying negative things about your spouse to your kids or in their presence. This will only make them feel caught in the middle and confused about their loyalty. It's okay to vent to a trusted friend or therapist, but keep the peace in front of your kids.
3. Do Keep Communication Open with Your Spouse
While the relationship may be ending, you and your spouse will still need to communicate about things like child custody, visitation, and support. It's important to stay on the same page and be respectful of each other during this time. If you can't have a civil conversation, there are plenty of resources available to help facilitate communication, such as mediation. Your lawyers can guide you through this process.
4. Don't Hide Assets
Hiding assets is not only dishonest, but it can also come back to bite you. If your spouse discovers hidden assets, they can ask the court to redistribute them equitably. This could mean you end up with less than you would have otherwise. Be upfront about your assets and liabilities from the start to avoid any potential problems.
5. Do Plan for Life After Divorce
The divorce process can be all-consuming, but it's important to take a step back and plan for life after divorce. This means creating a budget, finding a place to live, and setting up a new routine. If you have kids, you'll also need to think about custody and visitation. It's okay to take some time to yourself after the divorce is final, but don't forget to plan for the future.
It's crucial to realize that divorce isn't the end – it's just the beginning of a new chapter. With a proper plan in place, you can move on to the next phase of your life with confidence.
6. Don't Compare Your Divorce to Other People's
Divorce is a highly personal experience, and no two divorces are exactly alike. It's natural to compare your situation to others, but resist the urge to do so. Your divorce will be unique, and you should approach it as such. In that same line, listen to but don't necessarily implement advice even from well-meaning friends or family who have gone through a divorce. The best advice will come from your lawyer.
Bonus Tip: Avoid telling the whole world you're getting a divorce. Especially on social media, where things can quickly get ugly, don't post anything about your divorce online. This includes status updates, photos, or even private messages. Once something is out there, you can't take it back, and it could come back to bite you later on.
The divorce process is never easy, but by following these simple tips, you can make it a little bit easier on yourself. And remember, you're not alone – there are plenty of resources available to help you through this tough time. An experienced divorce lawyer is one of the best resources you can have, so don't hesitate to reach out for help.