When you stood in front of friends and family and said, “I do,” you never imagined you’d get to the point that you’d both say, “I don’t.”
But here you are.
Going through a divorce is never easy. It’s painful. It’s difficult.
And, at times, it’s confusing.
You want your divorce to go smoothly. After all, this was the person you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with. But, for whatever reason, it didn’t work out.
You’re not alone. Between 42-45% of couples get divorced in the United States. While some are more difficult than others, an easy divorce is possible.
Take a look at five steps to ensure your divorce falls into the latter category.
1. Deal with Your Emotions First
When you’re going through a divorce, you may experience the five stages of grief. This happens even when you go through an uncontested divorce. The five stages are:
Once you allow all five emotions to run their course, you’ll be mentally and emotionally prepared to start the divorce proceedings. If you try and force the divorce before either one of you is ready, it will only prolong the pain.
If you’re not seeking a marriage counselor, at least speak to a therapist on your own accord. They’ll teach you the tools you need to deal with your divorce in a healthy way.
2. Hire a Lawyer
This is pretty straightforward. A reputable divorce or family attorney will know your rights and respect your wishes at the same time.
This means that while a divorce is all drama on TV and in the movies, your lawyer won’t pressure you to do anything you’re not comfortable doing. If you express your intentions to have an amicable divorce, they’ll do their best to make your divorce as painless as possible.
They’ll explain the legalese in the paperwork and prepare you for the proceeding.
3. Don’t Get Vindictive When Separating Assets
Unless you’re rich and famous, you likely don’t have a prenup. So, your assets are up for grabs. Don’t get vindictive over your property and belongings.
When you’re going through property division during divorce proceedings, be sensible and mature about it. If you have your own vehicle and your name is on your spouse’s car too, you don’t need to take it from them.
The same goes for your house. If you can’t afford the mortgage payment but your spouse can, let them have it.
Your attorney will explain how you can get your name removed from any asset or property you aren’t taking possession of after the divorce.
4. Think About What’s Best for the Children
If you have children, they may very well be the reason your divorce hurts as much as it does. You worry about their pain and how they’ll get through it.
You may even consider trying to make your marriage work because of them. But you should never use children as band-aids for your relationship.
You should also never use them as pawns.
Keep them as separate from the legal aspect of your divorce as possible. Speak to your spouse about custody and child support without them around. When the subject of the kids comes up, stay calm and level-headed.
The more you can work out on your own without the court’s input, the easier your divorce will be.
5. Only Get Advice from Experts
While your family and friends mean well, they’re likely not going to be honest with you. They want to make you feel better and let’s face it — the truth hurts.
They may fuel the fires of bitterness that isn’t even there. They may try to set you up with a new mate when you’re not ready. They may tell you that you’re 100% right and your spouse is completely in the wrong.
None of these people do this out of malice. They say these things because they care about you. But it still doesn’t make it healthy.
If you need to talk to someone or get advice, seek a counselor. If you’re unsure about any of the divorce proceedings, get legal help.
An Easy Divorce is Possible
An easy divorce is definitely possible. The most important thing to remember is that while you may not love this person now, at one point you did.
Try to see past the wrongdoings. Divorce, like marriage, takes two people to make it work.
For more advice and information on divorce, visit our blog.