Your Love Deal: Solutions that Work
No one at the altar expects to face a spouse in the courtroom but it happens. In so many of today's marriages, divorce will be the best solution to what has become an unfixable relationship.
What makes divorce complex is the legal process and psychological pain which are playing out simultaneously. It is a difficult journey, yet one which will impact the rest of your life, especially if you have children.
Strategizing a good divorce takes maturity and commitment but it can be done. Here are some suggestions.
- Begin the divorce with a vision of its ending, and try to tailor your behavior to the idealized goal. When you look back at this life-altering event, you want to feel you handled it as well as possible. Believe it or not, former spouses can and do become friends.
- Know that you'll have bad days. Lean on friends and consider emotional health support to get you through. Study the words of wisdom in how-to books such as "The Good Karma Divorce" by mediator and retired judge Michele Lowrance.
- Do your financial homework. Gather the financial facts and figures related to the market value of your assets and expenses. The more financial information that is openly shared, the less time will be needed to "discover" it in a settlement meeting.
- Hire a like-minded lawyer, and listen to what she or he has to say. Good lawyers will tell you the truth and explain likely outcomes. Questionable lawyers will keep your anger fueled which delays the process and ultimately is more expensive.
- If you and your spouse arrive at an impasse, initiate a sit-down meeting with your respective lawyers or embark on lawyer-assisted mediation. Aim for a solution before the case goes to trial. Trials are arduous, and in the end, it's hard to tell who won and who lost.
Strategizing a good divorce can take more skill and effort than expected. But as a divorce lawyer who has helped hundreds of clients through the process, I assure you that a good divorce is worth every ounce of effort – especially if children are involved. More about that in a future blog.