Keep Your Future In Mind
Few events in a person’s life will be as confusing and emotional as going through a divorce. For those who want to stay married, having your spouse file for divorce feels like a deep betrayal. Even if it is your decision, the process of ending the relationship can still be very difficult.
You may be hurt, mad, and upset. You may feel like your spouse is making unreasonable or even outrageous demands. Although it is easy to lose your cool, it is always better to stay calm and try to be objective.
You will be less intimidated the more knowledgeable you become.
What to do, and what to avoid, while going through a divorce:
DO What you can to learn what is involved in the legal process. You will be less intimidated the more knowledgeable you become. That may include retaining a good legal team to help you through the process.
DON'T Forfeit any of your rights or property without first getting good legal advice on how to proceed.
DO Consider the consequences of all your actions. Do not let emotions control your decisions.
DON'T Put your children in the middle of your divorce. The divorce is between you and your spouse.
DO Show your children the love and attention they deserve. Make sure they know they are not the reason for the divorce.
DON'T Stop the children from seeing the other parent during their scheduled visitation time. Obey all court orders, even ones with which you disagree. Obeying orders with which you disagree and documenting their unfairness is the best way to have them changed later. This is especially true of temporary orders.
DO Promptly pay all child and spousal support you owe, and promptly pursue collection of delinquent support owed to you.
DON'T Use child support payments or child visitation as a weapon against your spouse.
DO Try to resolve minor problems with your spouse. If your good-faith efforts can’t resolve the problem then contact your attorney to find out what legal actions you can take.
DON'T Put your spouse down in front of the children, family, or friends, or threaten or antagonize them in any way. This includes talking about your issues on social media, such as Facebook! Remember that anything put on any social media site, email, or text message may later be presented as evidence in your case.
DO Show respect towards your spouse in front of the children. If you can’t do that then don’t say anything at all. It will only come back to haunt you as well as send the wrong message to the children.
DON'T Use your children as a negotiating tool during the settlement process.
DO Be honest and up front. Judges have heard everything; they can see through lies and know when they are being manipulated. They do not look kindly upon such tactics.
DON'T Spend $1,000 on attorney fees fighting over a $100 piece of furniture. Use common-sense and pick your battles wisely to control fees and costs.
DO The math. Use good business sense when deciding what to fight for, and what it will cost (both financially and emotionally) to do so.
DON'T Get greedy. It does not matter if you wanted the divorce or your spouse did. Just because you’re hurt and your emotions are running high, does not mean you are entitled to more than the law allows. This attitude will cost you unnecessary attorney fees and the judicial system doesn’t care about your personal feelings.
DO Be reasonable, flexible, and knowledgeable. Find out from your attorney what you are entitled to by state law regarding equitable property distribution, alimony and child support.
DON'T Vent to your children about the issues of the divorce. They are not equipped to handle the emotional strain being placed on them.
DO Get professional help to cope with your divorce.
DON'T Pay your child support late. If you’re having trouble keeping up, seek a divorce modification.
DO Pay your support obligations on time. Not only will you avoid legal ramifications, you are also supporting your children. The money goes towards the rent/mortgage, food, clothes, utilities and other necessities. If the money isn’t being used appropriately, document your concerns and use it as evidence for a divorce modification.
DON'T Violate any restraining order, or any other court orders.
DO Obey all court orders. If you disagree with a court order, have your attorney file a motion to change the order.
DON'T Try to go it alone and do everything yourself.
DO Reconnect and strengthen relationships with friends you had before your marriage. Their support will help.
DON'T Give up hope that your situation will improve.
DO Keep your future in mind and start planning now for what you are going to do once the divorce is over.
Next, read about Frequently Asked Divorce Questions.