Filing For Divorce: What You Need To Know
1. Don’t Foresee “A Winning Conclusion” in the Divorce Proceedings
Many people file a divorce and consider they would “defeat” their spouse in the court case. In reality, divorce is a complex system with no real winners in most cases. There are many issues in a divorce, like claiming child custody, distribution of assets, or sharing of property. It is hardly possible for spouses to get everything they desire out of the divorce. In some case, a spouse may win the custody of a child but fail to get sufficient financial support, as filed for in the case. Divorce is not a process that guarantees any winner as both parties have to compromise. Instead, you should focus on the way to end the process smoothly without having to spend thousands of dollars on a complicated court case.
2. Don’t Jump to Decisions Without Thinking and Taking your Time
A divorce is a life-changing decision that has financial, emotional and legal complications. For example, you may need to sell your family house after a divorce or relocate. You may lose custody of your children or face financial burdens to raise them. It is therefore essential not to take a decision in the heat of the moment and think rationally about all possible outcomes of a divorce and then proceed.
3. You Are Separating: Your Kids Are Not
It’s understandable to have your temper hit the roof in heated divorce arguments. However, saying anything against your spouse while your kids are present is uncalled for and can have a negative psychological impact on the children. Prolong fights of parents during the divorce can be damaging to the emotional stability of the children. Refrain yourself to say anything insulting to your spouse in the presence of your children. Although divorce is not an ideal time to collaborate, you will be sharing the custody of your children with your spouse, so it is practical not to discourage discussions with your spouse and allow your children to have a healthy bond with both parents post-divorce.
4. Listen to Others, But Make your Own Decision
You will find your divorced friends reaching out to you with suggestions and opinions on how you should deal with your divorce. While you should listen to the experiences of others, you must make your own decisions as divorce is not the same for all cases. Your circumstances may be different from your divorced friends, and you should not generalize the process. The only person other than yourself who can guide you best on divorce issues is your divorce lawyer, your financial adviser or people who are living with you and are familiar with your family history and reason to file the divorce.
5. Stop Living in the Past. Plan for What’s Ahead.
You should not obsess on all the reasons that led to the filing of the divorce. Focusing on the past is not only hurtful but will not allow you to proceed with the divorce peacefully with your partner. Whatever the reason was, you have taken the decision and must work with your spouse to plan the best outcomes for your children. If divorce is inevitable, then it must not ruin your future life and the peace and prosperity of your family.
6. The Court is Not All That Easy
Trying to negotiate your way out of a marriage is not easy, and often you or your spouse may be tempted to take the case to court. However, bear in mind that court hearings are costlier as not only you have to cope with lawyers fees but the trial of court cases are lengthy. Often the income you claim to get from your spouse is significantly depleted by the time the court reached a decision as you spend thousands of dollars on attorneys. Try to negotiate a divorce settlement out of the courts as it will save you time and money.
7. Consider Other Alternatives
Most people are unaware that there are other alternatives to courts in a divorce case. Some third-party mediators can be contacted, and they are specialist in handling divorce negotiations and help the spouses reach an agreement.
Another approach is going for a “collaborative divorce” in which the spouses hire a collaborative attorney and decide to settle the divorce negotiation outside the court. A collaborative team consists of attorneys, mental health professionals, mutual financial advisers and they work closely with the spouses to reach terms and conditions that satisfy both spouses without having to file a case in court.
8. Keep all the Facts Open and Do Not Lie to Your Lawyer and Spouse
Your attorney will be able to help you if they are aware of all the key facts and reasons for divorce. Do not hide any details from your lawyer as it can harm your case during your court proceeding. If you plan to negotiate a deal with your spouse through a lawyer, you must clearly explain to your spouse what you need and why it is justifiable. You must not hide information from your spouse as the information may come up during court proceedings and your spouse can backtrack from a negotiation if you are found guilty of hiding facts.
9. Make an Inventory Lists of All items and Prepare Copies for All Important Documents.
You must make a complete list of all items in a house to avoid conflicts over claims later. Take pictures of all items and use time stamps such as newspaper dates to avoid claims that you have taken photos earlier. Prepare documents listing down all assets with their market values. Try to make copies of all important documents as you head for filing a divorce as it will help you present your case better and counter any claims against your belongings later.
10. Have Realistic Goals
Try to foresee a realistic divorce outcome and do not look for any favors inconsistent with the court laws. You need to sit with your lawyer to understand your case, its legal implications and how it will proceed in the court hearings. This will prepare you to deal with court rulings that may not be completely in your favor.
Laughlin & Company Lawyers Mediators
2755 Lougheed Hwy #710, Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 5Y9