The advice from many who went through a divorce and that I’ve worked with over the past 20+ years as a divorce attorney.
I’ve represented and consulted with thousands of people throughout my career. As part of my process for writing my first book, I asked former clients for their assistance in answering the question of,
“Looking back at the time in which you were going through your divorce, what would you have preferred to know that you did not?”
These were their responses. . .
- Don’t waste time fighting over possessions; you’ll pay two to three times more than what they are worth in attorneys’ fees.
- As much as possible, treat the divorce process as a business transaction; try to put your emotions behind you; if you can’t, find someone who can give you rational advice throughout the process.
- Don’t make any large purchases or consider any big financial decisions during this time because everything will be examined and potentially used against you.
- Try to get a clear understanding of the total divorce process with key events along the way like going to court and preparing for court.
- Do not put your kids in the middle no matter what (even if that means deferring to the other parent to minimize the negative impact on your kids—whether they are adult children or young kids; it relieves so much pressure on them).
- No one wins in divorce. Don’t look at it like winning and losing. The process is a constant negotiation for everyone’s best guess on what is fair.
- Listen to the advice of others, but at the end of the day, make sure all your decisions are ones you can live with.
- Details are important. Also, you may think it will be amicable in the beginning, but be wise and protect yourself, your assets, and your children. You never know how your ex‐spouse will act as time goes on.
- The power of seeking and trying to get the divorce case resolved through mediation early on to prevent having things drag on and then go to court. I would have liked to have known how to better prepare for court even though it was a year out.
- Don’t rush the healing process. You will survive this and even thrive. It is a chapter in your life, not the whole book. Take care of yourself – mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Keep in mind that the legal and emotional parts of the divorce process are not the same for every person. However, I hope that one of the responses above resonates with you so that you can avoid making a similar mistake throughout your process. Most importantly, however, be wise in your use of the information and advice you obtain. You can get through this difficult time. Prepare for the unexpected as well as the expected and have compassion for yourself.
If you feel like you need extra support, as many do in the divorce process…my private divorce group for women on Facebook is open to all who want to surround themselves with an empowering and supportive community during what can be a stressful process.