Most people get married planning to stick it out “until death do us part,” however the unfortunate fact is that somewhere between 30%-50% of marriages end in a divorce rather than a grave. In fact, 2 divorces occur every single minute in the United States.
A majority of the time, divorce is caused by infidelity, followed by incompatibility and then drug or alcohol abuse. Regardless of the cause, going through a divorce can be emotional and stressful, and finding the right divorce help is critical for making the process as smooth as possible. Here are a few tips to get you through submitting the divorce papers and to walking away a free man (or woman) in one piece:
- Get emotional support. Going through a divorce is a huge life change. You might be experiencing loss, rejection, emptiness, and figuring out who you are without your spouse. Be careful what you say around friends; anyone with connections to your spouse could convey something you say out of emotion back to them and hurt your causes in court. Don’t be afraid to seek divorce help from a licensed therapist to work through your emotions in a safe environment. If you have children, it might be a good idea to get them involved in therapy as well; divorce can be confusing to a child.
- Find a divorce lawyer. Even if you are filing an uncontested divorce, you need a divorce lawyer. Sorting out all of your assets and debts, tax implications, health coverage, living arrangements, alimony and custody can be very complicated from a legal perspective. Having a lawyer who knows your rights and protects your interests relieves stress and helps you feel empowered.
- Document and then document some more. Make a list of all of your assets, regardless of size and your level of interest in keeping them in the settlement. List people who could serve as witnesses if needed. Make copies of any important documents– birth certificates, financial records, pay stubs and tax returns. If possible, try to maintain contact with your spouse via email, so that it is all on record. You can’t provide your lawyer with too much documentation to build your case.
- Try to remain positive about your spouse in front of your children. Your kids might have questions that are hard to answer, especially when your feelings are raw, but it is important to maintain a united front for their sake. Your ex is still their flesh and blood; by bashing them, you’re belittling half of who your child is. Additionally, anything hurtful you say about your spouse could come back to bite you if it is brought up in the court proceedings.
- Take each step cautiously. Consider the impact of your actions on your divorce settlement. It might be momentarily fulfilling to write a hurtful email to your spouse, but imagine it being read aloud in court. Channel your energy to getting yourself into a healthy position of independence, and stay calm and try to create a professional working relationship with your spouse, as much as possible.
Did you get any form of divorce help while going through your separation? What advice would you give to someone in the same position? Please leave us a comment below.