Everyone knows at least one couple who has been through or is going through a divorce. When a couple is separating there are two types of friends; those that share too many details about their divorce and those who share nothing. What you need is a friend who has been through the process that is willing to lend an ear and offer advice as needed based upon their experiences. Each divorce experience is different, learn lessons and take advice from others but understand your divorce is unique.
The first thing you need to do when your considering a divorce or you find yourself served with divorce papers is to consult a reputable divorce attorney. I know, I know, that is obvious however even if you don’t thing a divorce attorney is affordable you still need to talk to one. Many offer free consultations and low cost alternatives to those who can’t afford a divorce attorney throughout their entire divorce process. Going through a divorce without any legal representation will end up costing more than just financially in the end. Even in an uncontested divorce hiring a divorce attorney is needed. Hire legal representation before signing anything that has to do with your divorce.
This too may seem obvious but many couples forget; put your children and their needs before anything else when you are going through a divorce. Children are not to be used as pawns during your divorce. They are innocent victims. Your divorce is as difficult if not more difficult on them than it is either of you. Throughout the process be conscious of your divorce and the effects it is having on your children. Their best interest is in fact the only thing the two of you must agree upon during the entire process. Children thrive in an environment that both parents are included in. Consider this before dragging them into your mess and before denying them from seeing their other parent.
Consider who you trust with information pertaining your divorce. Some advice is nice but too much can lead to issues. Don’t bring a new mate into your divorce, don’t rely on only family when going through a divorce; find one or two people to trust with the most sensitive details of your divorce and turn to them during your crisis. Involving too many people brings in to play a lot of opinions and advice that may not apply. Too many opinions cloud your judgment and can lead to rash decisions.
Consider mediation as trials are not something that is needed for every divorce or something that everyone is prepared for. When you go to trial your divorce becomes something that is then put into total stranger’s hands and is removed from yours. Divorces settled through trial can take time, a lot of money as well as expensive attorneys. Consider going through mediation with your spouse, roll up your sleeves and come up with a compromise that both of you can live with that is appropriate for the needs of your entire family.
In the end, after your divorce is finalized it is important that you remember what is important to you. The microwave and sofa might seem like trivial things when all is said and done. Think about the emotional toll that your divorce is having on you and your family when considering what is worth fighting for. From the start consider what you are hoping for by the end and don’t stress over the little things. Everything is replaceable except time with your children so consider that when mediating over each and every other minor detail of your divorce.