Dealing with loss is an inevitable component of any divorce, whether it is the loss of a home, the loss of intimacy, comfort or security. When faced with an impending divorce, it is natural to feel the desire to protect yourself. Often, it is only after the divorce proceeding is well underway that most begin to understand the conflicting emotions that must be navigated before a peaceful resolution can be reached. However, if negotiations becomes adversarial, the process can quickly dissolve into an all-out war. Below are several strategies that may help you avoid the fallout of a nasty divorce.
Four Tips to Prevent a Nasty Divorce
Do Not Let Your Emotions Cloud Your Decisions
The end of a marriage forces you to come to grips with the fact that your life is about to undergo a dramatic change. Although it is natural to feel a sense of trepidation and insecurity when faced with this new challenge, it is important that you do not allow your emotions to dictate your financial and custodial decisions during the divorce. The negotiation process is akin to a business deal as it requires compromise, but there will be times during the give-and-take process when emotions run high.
One of the most positive things that you can do going forward is to deal with the emotional aspects of the divorce. Seek support from others who have shared your experience or look for help from a professional therapist. It is to your own advantage to learn coping strategies that will allow you to negotiate calmly and clearly. If your emotions leave you feeling confused, uncertain, or angry, do not hesitate to request a cooling-off period before making final decisions.
Establish a Realistic Budget
The harsh truth of an equitable divorce is that both parties will typically need to adapt to a lower level of net income. The last thing you need is to waste your time and energy haggling for a piece of property that you can no longer afford. While you may feel that it is your right to take ownership of a home, for example, you must consider whether owning a home will be in your best financial interest. Ensure that your new budget can handle monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, and upkeep before investing your emotional capital in fighting for the property.
Put the Children First
All too often, children become innocent victims caught in the emotional fray of an ugly divorce. It is crucial that you put the needs of your child above all else in divorce proceedings. “As a parent, you should take every step necessary to help your child cope with the divorce,” says divorce attorney, Angela Stout. “Children often require a great deal of time and emotional support to work through their own feelings related to the divorce.”
Putting the needs of your children first can provide you with the motivation that you need to negotiate a diplomatic resolution. In the majority of cases, it is in the child’s best interest for both parents to share the major decisions about their welfare. Keeping your child foremost in your mind during the proceedings can help to give you the strength that you need to negotiate custody issues and achieve a peaceful transition for you child.
Focus on the Future
When the assets accumulated over the length of a marriage are being divided, it becomes all too easy to dwell on the past. A lot of pain and bitterness can be avoided by focusing on the future instead. Arguments over a particular piece of property should be weighed against the relief that comes with letting go of the past. Assist your lawyer by having receipts and documents on hand to prove ownership when needed, but be prepared to compromise over items that will only bring back painful memories. By keeping your eyes on the goal of a brighter tomorrow, it will become easier to make decisions about what really matters as you move forward with your life.
The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C. is a family law firm in Houston, Texas. Angela Stout practices exclusively in the area of family law, including divorce. For more information about The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C., follow them on Facebook or Google+.