Strategies for a successful divorce
The divorce process is full of stumbling blocks and potential pitfalls. While some bumps in the road are inevitable, there are steps you can take to help make the divorce process easier on yourself and your family.
Make your decisions for the right reasons
During divorce, it can be easy to make decisions for the wrong reasons – such as spite, revenge or anger. Although it is perfectly normal to have these feelings during divorce, they do not provide the basis for good decision-making at a time when the choices you make can have a profound effect on your family’s future. To avoid making rash, impulsive decisions that you may soon regret, be sure to take time to think things over and discuss your options with your attorney before you act.
On a related note, it can also be helpful to let go of stubbornness and the need to be right about everything. Most likely, you and your ex will both need to compromise at some point during the divorce process. If you choose your battles carefully instead of taking a stand on every issue, it could end up saving you time and money in the long run.
Plan ahead before you negotiate
Many people get into trouble by settling their divorce cases without thoroughly considering the ramifications of what they are agreeing to. Before you begin the negotiation process, work with your attorney to evaluate your real-life budget based on your income and expenses. Also consider any “what if” scenarios that may arise and how they could affect the outcome of your settlement.
Having this information prepared in advance of the negotiation process will help you evaluate any potential settlement offers to determine whether or not they would meet your needs. If you agree to pay more than you can afford, or accept less than you need, it may be much more difficult to modify your divorce agreement later on down the road. Therefore, it is important to put in the work up front to negotiate an agreement that you can live with.
Choose your divorce lawyer carefully
Every divorce is different, and so is every divorce lawyer. Thinking carefully about goals and priorities for the divorce process before you begin your search for an attorney will help you choose a lawyer whose style is likely to work well for you. For example, if it is important to you to settle things cooperatively in a way that allows you and your ex to remain amicable, you should choose an attorney who understands and respects your preference for keeping things non-adversarial. On the other hand, if you anticipate a highly contentious divorce, you may prefer to work with a lawyer whose style is more aggressive.
Another important consideration when hiring a divorce lawyer is whether he or she is someone you can feel comfortable talking to. Because you must be able to talk honestly with your attorney about your marriage, your finances and other highly personal topics, it is critical that you choose someone who you feel you can talk openly with.
If you are considering divorce and have questions about your rights and legal options, speak with an experienced divorce and family law attorney in your area.