The truth about divorce, no matter who you are, and no matter what your circumstances, is that it isn’t easy. This is true even in the most ideal of circumstances-even when a couple agrees that divorce is the best path forward for their family. The reality is that any divorce is going to have its share of difficulty. After all, this is only to be expected when you are taking a shared life and separating it. There will be moments of strong emotion and difficult days, and sometimes confusion and anxiety about whether your decision is the right one. All of these things are normal. The good news though, is that even if divorce is difficult, you can still take steps to help keep it as peaceful as possible.
Certainly, every couple and every marriage is unique, and what works well for some may not work as well for others. In our many years of experience handling divorces for countless clients however, we have seen couples who have implemented these helpful steps come away from the process with a greater feeling of peace both throughout the process, and with the final resolution of their issues. We offer this advice to you in the hopes that it will help you to do the same:
- Make every effort to be certain that divorce is the best option: It goes without saying that divorce is final. It is not a decision to take lightly, and it is not a decision to make without fully thinking it through. Often, in a particularly turbulent or difficult time of their marriage, couples make the assumption that divorce is the only path forward, when in fact it isn’t. It is best to thoroughly think it through before making a decision you might later regret. Seek counseling. Talk to trusted friends. Make an effort to fix the issues between you. If you have done those things and you believe that divorce is still the best option, then you can proceed forward with a sense of inner peace.
- Treat one another with respect: This should go without saying, but divorce proceedings can become surprisingly antagonistic, even for a couples who agree that it is the best option. Commit at the beginning to treat one another with respect, even through your difficulties. Particularly in cases where one party has done something significant to harm another –had an affair, or an addiction that has been particularly devastating to the family for example, the other spouse may be tempted to hire an aggressive lawyer who will want to “win” at all costs. While this may feel good in the moment, it is important to remember that making this choice will likely result in a more turbulent and lengthy divorce battle that places more strain not only on you but on your family as a whole. For that reason, it is often best to put aside your differences and attempt to treat one another respectfully and with an attitude of cooperation if possible.
- Commit to work toward common goals: Even though your marriage may be ending, chances are unlikely that you and your spouse, particularly if you have children, will still have a lifetime of interaction ahead. Commit to working toward what is best for your children and your family as a whole, and defining common goals that you both agree upon. You can and should sit down and calmly talk through what other potential resolutions might best benefit your family. Ask yourself the important questions. What will you do regarding your marital home? How can you divide your assets so that you will both feel the division is fair and equitable? What parenting schedule might be best to make the transition as easy as possible for your children? Thinking about these questions ahead of time and resolving to work together toward the goals you both believe will benefit yourselves and your family can help add a sense of peace and purpose to your divorce.
- Carefully consider your divorce process: One of the more fortunate things about divorce proceedings today is that there are any number of legal options available to divorcing couples. Gone are the days where a divorce meant that you had to battle it out before a judge in a traditional courtroom setting. Some couples may not realize that there are a variety of other options available that allow for a more peaceful and more personally involved settlement of your issues. Mediation and collaborative law are two wonderful options that allow couples to discuss and work cooperatively toward resolving their issues outside of the courtroom. Attorneys who are trained in these strategies can help couples think through their issues and draft them into a comprehensive agreement that the couples believe is best for each of them and prevents them from having to go to court and have the matters decided by a judge. In addition to being less stressful, these methods are often less costly and less time-consuming as well which also adds to a more peaceful divorce process overall.
- Seek professional help when needed: Sometimes, there are certain issues that you simply have difficulty working through on your own. Sometimes, you need an objective third party to listen, and to help talk you through your troubles. Fortunately, there are many professional therapists and counselors out there who are trained to do exactly that. Whether you seek help for your issues alone, or whether you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse seek help together so that you can communicate and collaborate more effectively toward resolving your divorce issues, seeking professional help is always an admirable and wise choice if you believe that it might be of benefit to you.
Without question, certain aspects of your divorce will be difficult. It certainly will not be pain-free. However, most couples truly do want to move through the divorce process as quickly and peacefully as possible to begin their next chapter. Not only does it save money and stress but it also helps to preserve your relationships so that you can successfully co-parent and work together on important issues in the future. Pursuing peace is worth the effort that it takes and it truly results in the best path forward for the long run, and an important part to obtaining that peace is ensuring that you have qualified counsel representing you as you do so. At The Law Office of Dustin McCrary, we would love to help you do exactly that. Call us today.