Divorce can be one of life’s most challenging and emotionally volatile periods. Your family can come to represent your bedrock and foundation, a place of stability and comfort in the face of day-to-day happenings and difficulties.
You may have done everything you could to save the marriage, only to see things come apart in the end. When this foundation cracks, it may feel like any number of problems and uncertainties are on the horizon.
While divorce can represent all of these things, in reality, you can come out of divorce having more amicable relationships with your family members than while you were married.
You can create a life with greater stability than you had experienced before the foundations began to crack.
Two domains of consideration are essential to pay attention to in the divorce process: legal matters and emotional realities.
However, each of these two domains affects the other.
Let us consider the emotional domain first. It is common for a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs can characterize the divorce process:
- There may be trauma that needs to be processed related to the dissolution of your marriage.
- You may feel that you have been replaced or rejected. Or maybe you think that you emotionally lost your partner long ago, and now this reality has come to the surface with life-changing consequences.
- Your self-esteem may be low, and feelings of anger and resentment have grown.
It is important to process these emotions and emerging life challenges healthily and effectively, and often seeking help from a neutral third party is especially helpful.
This neutral third party can take the form of a counselor, therapist, or family divorce lawyer with your and your family’s best interests at heart. By processing the emotional realities of divorce and not allowing these emotions to direct your legal affairs, you are halfway to achieving the best possible outcome.
Here are 5 legal and emotionally relevant tips to ensure an optimal outcome when faced with a divorce:
Don’t antagonize your ex-spouse
Your emotions are likely running high, and maybe your ex has been acting in a manner that is provocative or mean-spirited.
Don’t act the same way back and create a war. Hostile feelings will make divorce negotiations extremely difficult. Difficult negotiations will draw out the divorce process.
By antagonizing your ex-spouse, you will make it less likely to arrive at an agreement that you feel is fair, and your legal costs will increase as time drags on. While it may feel ‘good’ at the moment to return a hurtful message, it will result in a worse outcome in the long run.
It is important to note that who you select as your divorce family lawyer will play an important role in your divorce’s outcome. Find a family divorce lawyer who feels like a good fit and has significant experience in family law.
A lawyer who seems to be on your side but, in reality, is aggressive and has a “take-all” attitude will only cause more problems. Such a lawyer will make the settlement process less amicable, and your ex-spouse will respond with an even more potent “take-all” attitude. Don’t put up with these antics from an attorney.
Keep other family members out of the negativity
While there may be ill feelings within the family to some extent, don’t create more. If you have children with your ex-spouse, don’t talk negatively about your ex with your children or try to get your children to take sides.
Anything you say to your children will likely make its way to your ex. Not only will this further provoke your ex, but fueling a ‘side-taking’ dynamic in the family will make each former partner feel like they need to build their own alliance, creating more toxicity and ill will.
Additionally, your children will be caught in the middle of this dynamic, and their relationship with you will be damaged. If your children are younger, they may not understand exactly what is going on with this dynamic. But when your children get older, they will understand and may come to harbor resentment.
Take the right approach when communicating with your adult family members as well. People can usually understand when you feel hurt, but spreading venom won’t be helpful, especially when divorce proceedings are underway.
Clarify your goals
Clarify what your personal and financial goals are. What are your personal goals for your post-divorce life?
If you will not be the primary custodian, how often do you want to see your children? Do you want to be friends with your ex-spouse, or do you only want a civil but otherwise independent relationship?
Where do you plan to live, and what do you want to pursue regarding your career? What are some milestones that you will look forward to?
Finances are a common sticking point in a divorce. Transcribe and gain clarity of your current financial situation. Determine exactly what you would need for your future and what you would be willing to let go of. What financial resources do you need to live where you want to live and for your financial peace of mind?
Clarifying these goals will help provide a way to stay focused on the future and avoid getting caught up in less important details. If you live in the greater Los Angeles area, an experienced Woodland Hills divorce attorney can help you determine what goals to focus on.
Stay focused on the future
Focus on your goals and work towards your new future. During negotiations or proceedings, don’t get snagged up on small things or on keeping a scoreboard. If there is disagreement over who gets to keep the patio chairs, let it go.
Don’t let yourself get caught up in keeping score of who seems to be getting more of certain belongings. Stay focused on the goals that are truly important to you, and hone in on the significant issues that actually will affect you.
The small number of items that are truly important to you, especially your peace of mind, are the real concerns for your balance sheet. Putting your energy into the things that will build your future instead of fighting over small things and opening up old wounds is essential. Focus on taking your life from point A to point B.
Consider divorce mediation instead of litigation
More than one option exists for approaching the legal implications surrounding divorce. Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process where you and your ex-spouse use a trained neutral third party to negotiate and solve the issues surrounding your divorce.
In divorce mediation, a mutually acceptable agreement is reached without incurring the financial and emotional costs of a drawn-out court battle. A single trained professional can serve as the mediator, and a more amicable divorce process can be pursued. For divorce mediation in Los Angeles, a reputable family law attorney can provide this service.
Remember to work towards the best outcome
The emotional and legal worlds surrounding divorce influence each other and direct the final outcome for your family.
Working through your emotions and not allowing difficult emotions to direct your decision-making will help prevent legal negotiations from becoming drawn out. This will also help prevent family relationships from being damaged.
Finding the right divorce family lawyer to look out for your interests and prioritize amicable relationships with your family will help prevent emotions from running too high. By focusing on your future during the difficult process of divorce, you will be better positioned to obtain a peaceful outcome for you and your family and build a better future.