Divorces can be a particularly difficult legal endeavor when those involved struggle to separate the emotional aspects of the process with the material side of separation––specifically when it comes to dividing finances, debts, property, and other tangible assets.
Many of us have witnessed friends or other family members endure drawn out divorce proceedings involving endless litigation that eventually end with two exhausted individuals.
If you predict some potential friction between you and your spouse during the divorce process, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind to make sure you’re working towards a productive goal when all is said and done.
1. Keep a practical, realistic perspective
Put a little more simply, don’t sweat the small stuff––it will only put more pressure on the bigger, more important decision you’ll be faced with.
All too often divorces are extended to extreme lengths when individuals apply the same level of importance to nearly every piece of property they own regardless of its actual value.
While deeply sentimental items are one thing, it’s simply not worth your time and energy to attempt to keep as much from your spouse as possible. While objects and possessions are often easily replaced, your time during the divorce process cannot be and comparatively, it’s not a wise investment.
It’s more worth your time and energy to save your objections for substantial issues that will have a direct impact on your day-to-day lifestyle as well as items that have substantial monetary value.
2. Understand what your divorce lawyer is actually capable of doing for you
If the relationship with your partner involves patterns of distrust, disagreement, and contention, it’s important to realize that these feelings and behaviors almost never disappear when you agree to separate and it rarely changes after you’ve finalized the divorce.
If disagreements do start popping up during the divorce, it’s important to understand that lawyers are not meant to be a quick fix. Attorneys cannot force other parties to change their behaviors, be more respectful to you, or change their approach to parenting.
What lawyers can do, and should do, is advocate for an equitable distribution of property and ensure that decisions involving children are made with their well-being in mind.
3. Understand what family court is and what it isn’t
For those who are going to family court for the first time, it’s easy to get caught in the “winner or loser” mindset. In other words, don’t assume either of you will emerge as a kind of “victor” in the battle of divorce.
Simply put, there are no winners in––it’s designed to reach fair compromises that put both individuals in equal standing. People rarely emerge from family court with a smile on their face. As a good rule of thumb, try your best to avoid attorneys who guarantee you’ll end up with everything you want or think you deserve.
4. If children are involved, be sure to distinguish your emotions accordingly
Divorces originate from all kinds of things, but it can be easy to attribute marriage mistakes with parenting mistakes. While many divorces to originate from a harmful relationship with a child, many others have little or nothing to do with children.
If this is the case, it’s important to carefully consider whether you and your spouse’s circumstances should affect both individuals as parents. While problems like infidelity may be disastrous to the romantic relationship between spouses, stretching this to label someone as someone unfit to parent a child can often be dangerous territory.
Divorce can extremely hard on children even when they’re not directly involved. While it might seem like an easy argument to make in order to gain more control over your children, placing them in the middle of the divorce when they don’t need to be there only serves to damage their sensibilities even further.
If you’re seeking assistance with your separation, contact an experienced Beloit Family Law firm, The Fitzgerald Law Firm, today for a free consultation. We understand that meetings may not be possible during traditional business hours, so please let us know a time that works for you and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
Photo credit: Bill Bradford