- Try to work out a settlement agreement with spouse. The more you can settle legally between yourselves without third parties, the easier, cheaper and more amicable it will be. If you have kids, your spouse is likely going to be in your life for the long haul. Your children’s special occasions and milestones will be times to encounter each other, or possibly even work together (who’s paying for the wedding?). Making your own choices about your future, using your professionals for guidance as to how best to execute your decisions, will allow you peace of mind as well as peace in the family, that your interests are being served.
- Do not fight over the children. Children are often hardest hit by divorce. They need to know that even if Mom and Dad no longer love each other, they both love the kids. Likely you and your spouse can find creative, realistic parenting schedules that will allow you to co-parent to the children’s best advantage. Parenting coordinators can help you come up with schedules if you cannot, with the help of your mediator or attorneys, determine a workable schedule.
- Do not fight over personal property. Do you really need the lawyers discussing sofas and spatulas? It is much more cost effective to make a list, determine what each of you really wants, and negotiate the items of common interest. If the division seems disproportionate, either shrug it off or find a means of equalizing through cash or other assets. Photos? Copy them. Often people find that it’s not the items, but the letting go that poses the greatest challenges.
Remember that divorce is the beginning of a new life. Legally it is an event, but in actuality it is a process. Becoming knowledgeable and staying strong will enable you to play a key role in shaping your future.