The decision has been made; divorce is imminent. It is scary, complicated, emotional, and overwhelming. For many, divorce is the lowest point in their lives. Over the years, Burnham Law has helped thousands of people through divorce. Divorce and family law are what we do, and we do it well. But before we can help, here are some helpful tips to prepare for a divorce.
- Channel your emotions. Emotions during a divorce run deep; anger, embarrassment, and fear are some of the most common. But these emotions can be the fuel you need to get up and make progress. I have asked some clients how they deal with such negative emotions, and those that handle them well explain that the emotions are there, but they are able to channel those emotions into fuel to act. Their actions range from learning divorce procedures/terms, organizing evidence, or other productive activities. It is refreshing to see how doing something productive counteracts negative emotions. The clients that can do this are much happier, more logical, and more focused through the process. Being able to control how your emotions are expressed not only provides emotional stability but gives an advantage in divorce negotiations. Those individuals with a calmer and levelheaded approach present more credible in court and have higher settlement rates.
- Get emotional support. No one can go through a divorce alone. During the divorce process, there will be extreme lows and challenging times. It is in these times that support is required, not needed, required. For some clients, that support comes from family and friends. Other clients use professionals such as a therapist. Many clients are scared to go to a therapist for fear that their ex will use it against them. The fact is most judges are impressed to see someone getting support when needed. This shows the judge that they can address any issues before they have a critical effect.
- Get organized. During the divorce process, there is a constant exchange of financial documents. Failing to disclose these documents can have a detrimental effect on the outcome of the case. Also, in my experience, those spouses that are organized and able to locate documents/assets have an advantage in the case. Courts typically find the spouse who has their documents and evidence organized to be more credible. When divorce is imminent, get organized. Get bill statements, credit card statements, bank statements, tax returns, paychecks, and any other document together in an organized fashion. Build a list of all your assets and belongings.
- Build the bridge. Concentrate on life after divorce; what do you want it to look like? As the divorce progresses, the goal should be to get to the other side. During the process, keep your eye on the big picture and build your bridge to post-divorce life. Understand what is important for the post-divorce life and concentrate on those specific items. Looking forward as the bridge is crossed will keep your divorce on better grounds. Those that look behind toward the painful past tend to get stuck in the past. When stuck in the past, I find clients in meaningless arguments or stuck on “principle” vs. “results.”
- Make a budget and stick to it. Most divorcing couples immediately experience a decrease in their household income. Even if you are fortunate and the divorce is not reducing your household income, understand that the court dislikes those that waste. Build a budget that will last you through the process and stick to it. Divorce is stressful enough; digging into debt or financial problems only causes more problems.
There is a good percentage of clients that, after the divorce is finished, see themselves as stronger, more independent, and happier. After years of working with wonderful clients, these five tips will give anyone getting ready to go through a divorce a fighting chance to be one of those people that live a happier post-divorce life.
Burnham Law is an award-winning law firm specializing in family law. Our attorneys provide expert legal representation and are tenacious litigators. But in the end, Burnham Law takes a client-centered approach to its cases. We want our clients to begin their new life as quickly as possible and with an outcome that provides them the stability to be happy.