Divorce can be a painful, drawn-out process that can scar people for the rest of their lives. While it’s impossible to make divorce truly easy, there are a few ways that you can make it easier. Here are 3 methods that might be able to help you through this time of change.
1. Divorce Mediation
You may have tried marriage counseling, but this is different. The whole point of divorce mediation is to make your divorce go as smoothly as possible, getting you and your spouse through the rough patches. A divorce mediator is a neutral third party that can more objectively listen to both of your concerns and help you find solutions.
This can be helpful when dividing property, deciding child custody and schedules, and organizing taxes. When these issues are initially handled with lawyers, things can get very confrontational very quickly. Try out the mediator first. If you still don’t like what they have to say, bring your lawyers into it. Most likely, though, the two of you will be able to come to a mutual decision with the help of the mediator (and for less money than your lawyers will charge).
2. Be Prepared for Court
If you are prepared, you don’t need to be afraid. Let’s be honest—courts can be extremely intimidating for the average person. If and when your case is taken to court, you’ll want to be prepared for everything. Sit down with your lawyer and go over the specifics of the case and what will be discussed in the courtroom. Make sure you’ve been very clear about every detail of the case—you don’t want any skeletons to be dragged out of the closet and surprise your attorney.
You also need to prepare for your court appearance. Dress appropriately by choosing conservative, professional clothes, and avoiding anything too flashy or expensive. Eye-catching apparel might give the judge and jury an incorrect assessment of your financial situation, which might skew their impression of you. Be classy, but understated.
Aside from your dress, your behavior is extremely important in court. Do not react to your spouse’s testimony with gestures, rolled eyes, or other expressions of frustration or annoyance; these make you seem immature. Put away all reading material and electronics. Your job in court is to listen and observe, and to show due respect for the court proceedings.
3. Don’t Give In to Mind Games
It’s tempting to indulge in the “what ifs” and the blame game, but you have to avoid these mind games at all costs. Trying to figure what you (or your spouse) did wrong will send you into a tail spin of regrets. There is no use dwelling on what could have happened in your marriage—focus on what is happening. Doing this will help you stay in the present and stay focused on what is important. If you have kids, you still need to focus on their day-to-day lives and schedules. The world around you doesn’t stop during your divorce, even though it may seem that way.
Don’t try to pin blame on anyone for your divorce. Granted, some divorces are caused by very specific actions taken by one spouse, such as infidelity—it’s obviously easier to blame someone in this case. But taking all the blame on yourself for a “failed” marriage or not taking any part at all will only hurt you in the end. Own up to your own contributions to the divorce and accept it in your life. Only by doing this will you be able to learn from it and move forward in life.
With a solid action plan, you will be able to come out of your divorce on top. Maybe divorce mediation is the right choice for you and your spouse, or perhaps your lawyers are better equipped to handle your affairs. Each divorce is different, so it’s up to you to decide how you can make it a little better. Resources like Cheap & Fast Divorce can help you make the process as painless as possible.