If you are thinking about getting a divorce, or have begun the initial steps, it is important for you to know as much as possible about the process and the effects of this life-changing decision. Having some helpful insights from people who deal with the process every day — and may have gone through it themselves — will help you make good decisions and choices.
- Don’t be hasty. Deciding to divorce is life-altering, so be sure you are completely committed to seeking a divorce before you begin the process. If you have any hesitation, you may want to visit with a therapist to help you sort your thoughts.
- It’s your divorce. Friends who have gone through a divorce can be helpful, but they can also be harmful. Your divorce is yours alone, totally unique from the experience of others. Just because you know people who went through a terrible divorce — or a good one — does not mean yours will follow suit. Every divorce is different — the circumstances, the cost, and the result.
- Divorce takes time. Depending on the complexities involved — assets, debts, children, etc. — a divorce can take 9-18 months to reach a conclusion. If there are significant disagreements, it can take several years. Don’t expect it to happen overnight.
- Focus on the future. The decisions you make will have a significant impact on your future, and that is where your focus should be: the future. Dwelling on the past only hinders your progress.
- Keep expectations reasonable. Even if there is a lot of acrimony in your split, you need to remember to keep your expectations reasonable. Even if you feel you are entitled to more than half of your marital assets, you probably won’t get them.
- Divorce is not a weapon. You shouldn’t think you can use your divorce as a weapon to punish your ex-spouse, no matter how egregious you think his or her behavior has been during the marriage. There is no “winning,” so be prepared to compromise.
- Be honest. Misleading your attorney will only weaken your case, putting you at a disadvantage in the process. Divorces unfold over a length of time, and the truth has a way of coming out. Being honest with your attorney will increase the odds of getting what you want.
- Set a good example for your kids. Divorce is hard on kids, and parents who fight over custody and visitation or other issues make it even harder. The way you and your ex-spouse behave toward one another is hugely influential, so be sure you focus on setting a good example.
- Consider mediation. Not every split has to be handled in court; in fact, you can save yourself time, stress, and money by agreeing to mediate. Mediation helps you work things out in a more flexible, informal setting, and usually results in better outcomes for both sides.
- Choose the right lawyer. Different lawyers have different approaches, and the type you choose will set the stage for your case. Be sure you choose someone you feel comfortable with sharing intimate information and that you trust to keep your best interests in mind.
Protecting your interests and achieving results which supports your needs is what you can expect from Murphy & Cistaro. Contact us today for your free consultation.