To err is human. To forgive is divine.
Everyone makes mistakes. It happens. However, if you are considering divorcing your spouse, some errors are easy enough to avoid. Make them anyway, and they are likely to cost you in your divorce.
Here are three potential missteps you can avoid when dissolving your marriage:
#1: Call a divorce attorney
Your divorce is unique to you. The situation and strategies your friends used in their divorces may not apply. Let your friends and family comfort you emotionally. But think for yourself when it comes to your divorce. Interview attorneys, even the one so highly recommended by your ex-brother-in-law because he was so happy with his outcome. Find the one who understands your goals. Retain a therapist. Meet with a divorce financial planner. Do whatever you need to take care of yourself and protect your interests.
Even if your divorce is amicable, you need to know your options. A matrimonial attorney can walk you through the separation process, guide you to filing the appropriate paperwork, guide you through the court system, and help you negotiate finances, childcare, and logistics with your ex or your ex’s attorney.
#2: Think before you share the gory details of your marriage
Your marriage may have been unhappy for some time, and you’ve shared details with friends and family throughout the process. You may even have consulted a therapist. You both may have tried to iron out your differences in marriage counseling. All good. But now that you have agreed to disagree and are ready to divorce, hit pause. Think carefully about who you share marital details with or the vitriol of your arguments. Not all the friends you made during your marriage will remain your friends.
Blood on the field is a plus on the battlefield, but it has no place in your divorce. Going for the jugular or shouting accusations during a settlement meeting will not change your circumstances. It can, however, delay your process. Words said/accusations made cannot always be retracted and could jeopardize your case, and – if children are involved – visitation and custody.
#3: Keep your minor children out of it
Think carefully before you intentionally (or even unintentionally) put your children or your friends in the middle of your breakup. Your children are not pawns. And the court does not look kindly on parents who use their children as weapons.
Avoid making your friends choose sides as well. Understand that some will side with your ex. Others will take your part in the split. Still, others will remain friends with both of you. If you insist on drawing a line in the sand (me or my ex), you may not get the response you expected. Nor is it a win for you and a loss for your spouse if you use your children as go-betweens or make them choose you over your ex. But it could affect visitation and custody negotiations.
You will get to the other side
If you are considering divorcing your spouse, you likely are already under some stress. You can ask your family and friends to support you. Just be judicious about who you share your plans with and how much you share. Understand that not everyone is going to go along with you for this ride. If you have questions about what you need to know about preparing for your divorce, let’s talk. I’m Dan Stock, and you can call me at 475-232-4105 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.