How Do You Approach A Divorce?

How Do You Approach A Divorce?

A pragmatic approach to divorce requires you to:

  1. Ensure your child’s best interests
  2. Take care of your health
  3. Create a support team
  4. Understand and collect key information
  5. Get your finances in order
  6. Be courteous, logical, patient, and calm
  7. Hire an effective and experienced divorce lawyer

1. Ensure Your Child’s Best Interests

Your child has had no hand in the divorce and chances are that he/she will get negatively impacted by learning that the parents he/she grew up with and took for granted will no longer be together anymore. Emotional distress can negatively impact the child and his/her future, and no parent wants that to happen. You love your child and want him to have a bright future. The courts too decide on child custody and child support based on the child’s best interests, and so, your child should be your top priority while planning a divorce.

You should ensure that the child’s basic needs and comforts (food, clothing, shelter, schooling, and safety) are provided for in the post-divorce period, the child enjoys the same standard of living that he/she did when you and your spouse were together, and that he/she receives the same love and care in the post-divorce period as he/she did before.

2. Take Care Of Your Health

Divorce can take a heavy toll on your emotional and physical state, but you need to be fit and fine for your own and for your child’s sake. So, you should:

  • Consult a therapist to improve your mental health, if needed
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Work out regularly
  • Eat healthy food
  • Attend personal development classes, if required
  • Read case studies on how other spouses overcame problems related to divorce and came out on top

You need to remain positive during the entire tragic divorce process because after the divorce is complete you should emerge as a strong, positive person who is capable of taking care of the family.

3. Create A Support Team

Many spouses rely on friends and family for emotional support during the divorce. Typically, after filing a divorce petition, many spouses may be overcome by grief, feel unloved, plagued by guilt, and doubtful about their decision. They may even be raging against their spouse. This period is not a time to feel all alone – therefore, it helps to fall back on family and friends for emotional support.

You can also consider getting professional support from:

  • An experienced divorce lawyer
  • A divorce coach, who can help you focus on things that matter and ignore the trivial stuff
  • A therapist, to help you see through your choices, thoughts, and actions

4. Understand And Collect Key Information

To make a formidable case, you first need to understand the divorce, property distribution, and child custody laws of your state and provide your divorce attorney with facts and documents. Collect copies of the following documents and have a meeting with your lawyer to understand how they relate to your case and child custody/support claim:

  • Marriage certificate, property deeds of marital and separate property, your child’s documents (including school documents), SSN, IRS-related documents, driving license, etc.
  • Individual or business tax returns (federal, state, and local) of the last 3 years (These will help your family attorney understand how much the family made every month and what could have been your standard of living.)
  • Bank account statements
  • Documents related to ESOPs and intangible assets such as art
  • Employment contracts (of both spouses)
  • Statements, appraisals, or documents related to other investments (brokerage, mutual funds, cryptocurrency and other online wallets, bank deposits, art, stock options, etc.)
  • 401(k) and other retirement account statements (of both spouses)
  • Documents related to marital property and separate property
  • Health, life, and other insurance policies (health, life, and others)
  • Property deeds (home, farmhouse, investment properties, etc.)
  • Mortgage statements
  • Property tax receipts
  • Credit cards owned by both spouses, loans owed, loan applications, and other debt documents
  • Car registrations and insurance policies
  • Utility bills
  • List of separate properties owned by each spouse
  • Medical bills
  • Fees paid for regular schooling and extracurricular activities
  • The family’s monthly budget

5. Get Your Finances In Order

A divorce splits the monthly funds and leaves both spouses with fewer dollars. So, you need to know which assets you will receive after the divorce, their worth, and what your monthly income and expenses will be after the divorce. Debts are important too and you should know how much you have to repay once you are on your own and in what time frame.

Based on these data, you need to plan your monthly finances – and plan them well. You must be in control of your post-divorce financial situation. You may need a finance professional to help you or if you have hired an experienced attorney, he/she will be able to help you understand your overall post-divorce budget.

6. Be Courteous, Logical, Patient, And Calm

  • Be respectful to your spouse. He/she may be as emotionally disturbed as you are.
  • Be understanding and become a good listener.
  • Be reasonable – if you have followed the course of action described in this post, you will be well-prepared and will be able to judge if the offer on the table is worth accepting or not.
  • Do not hurl allegations or play a blame game (verbally or online). Stick to facts. Digging into the past will only end up hurling some mud on your face too.
  • Stay courteous, restrained, patient, and cool while debating or negotiating with your spouse – no matter how incendiary he/she may sound.
  • If you cannot handle a debate with your spouse, ask your attorney to coach you or stand in for you.
  • Focus on the outcome of your goal (i.e., ending the marriage) – don’t rush into a new relationship until your primary objective of divorce has been achieved.

7. Hire An Effective And Experienced Divorce Lawyer

Every doubt or difficulty you may have while planning your divorce can be easily handled if you hire an experienced and effective family law attorney who has successfully handled cases like yours. Experienced attorneys teach you how to peacefully and tactfully deal with your spouse and thereby keep things going smoothly during the entire divorce process. They also take care of the paperwork, calculate the alimony, child support, child custody, and property and other assets that are rightfully due to you, negotiate effectively, and in 98% of the cases, complete the divorce before it goes to trial (unless it is a high-conflict case or a matter that involves a narcissist spouse).

Published On: September 26th, 2022Categories: DivorceComments Off on How Do You Approach A Divorce?
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About the Author: Marco Brown
Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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