By no means do I claim to be an expert in the divorce field. However, if I knew then what I know now when I had to start the whole process, things would have gone a lot faster, easier and definitely cheaper. I just want to share my little bit of knowledge with any of you starting this process so that you don’t fall into some of the pitfalls that I did or if nothing else, I can give you a little hope that it will all work out.
- Document, document, document – This is going to be a difficult time for you, especially if you have little ones to take care of. Documenting everything will just ensure you don’t forget things or conversations don’t get misconstrued. If you have a verbal conversation, send an email after the fact, outlining what you discussed and have that person confirm the details. Keep all documents you receive from your lawyer, their lawyer and anyone else involved all together for easy reference.
- Don’t leave things unsaid or assumed. Do not assume everyone is on the same page as you or going to do you any favors. You need to be sure you have all your bases covered.
- Find a well respected, seasoned lawyer. The last thing you are going to want to do is spend thousands of dollars on a lawyer that isn’t there to support you and your case. Even if you and your ex are on amicable terms, things need to be legally documented and lawyers will be able to advise you on items that you wouldn’t even know to consider. If the first one you hire isn’t doing the job, fire them!
- Get yourself a strong support network – friends, families, others who have been in your shoes. There are going to be times that you need to rely on your support system to get you through the day. There will be good days and there will definitely be bad days. They will pick you up when you are down. Don’t shut people out, you need people around you.
- Find something that you can claim as your own. Be it a hobby or activity that you didn’t share with your ex. Find something to help you start becoming your own person again. Not meaning you weren’t your own person before, but your own person now being single – something that has no ties to your previous life. You will need an escape every once in a while. Trust me on this one!
- Don’t ask your friends to pick sides. In my experience, they will do that on their own. Just be cognizant of what you share and with who.
- If you have little ones, keep them as far away from any discussions whether in person or on the phone as possible with your ex or anyone else involved. They do not need to hear any disagreements or arguing.
- Regardless if your split is amicable or not, there are going to be times your ex upsets you or things they will do that you don’t agree with. Do not badmouth them in front of your children. Just because you two don’t love each other, your children still love them.
- Try to keep daily life as normal as possible for your children. In the grand scheme of things, I was lucky. My son was only 6 months old, so he has never known any different. Although, as he gets older, I know that consistency in routines and schedule are better for him. He knows what to expect and when.
- Divorce is not the end of the world. You are a lot stronger than you think, you will surprise yourself. You will get through it!