Advice on How to Have a Successful Divorce
Marriage is more challenging than ever before. In this day and age both spouses usually have careers, both are involved in the children’s lives, and both may continue friendships with people they knew socially before the marriage. Add in responsibilities such as caring for aging parents, juggling blended families and serving the community, and you have a bunch of overworked, over-burdened and stressed out people.
In these circumstances, it can be hard to make a marriage work year after year, and the day may come when you and your spouse decide to part ways. Divorce can add to your stress, but it doesn’t have to tear your family apart.
There are ways you and your spouse can divide your lives successfully. To do so, though, you must focus on protecting what you have built together, even as you go your separate ways. The following three pieces of divorce advice will help the process go smoothly.
Protect your children. They are innocent, and they love both of you. When love goes wrong, it can be one of the most painful experiences you’ll ever have in life, and your first thoughts may be to make life more painful for your soon-to-be-ex.
That’s natural and normal. But, if you have children, you must remember 1) they are innocent in all this, and 2) no matter how bad their mom or dad appears to other people, usually, they love both their parents unconditionally. So, vent to your best friend, your priest or your lawyer, but never, under any circumstances, should you talk negatively to your children about their other parent. Not only is it detrimental to their wellbeing, it could hurt you in court.
Protect your money. You will need it in the future. You and your spouse have built a financial life together, and you have the power to either destroy your financial lives, or to keep them fairly intact.
If you have children together (and even if you don’t), it is in the best interests of all parties to preserve any financial success you have thus far achieved. Making him or her “pay” may wind up costing you more than you realize.
Having said that, you must protect your financial future. Many people are so desperate to get out of a marriage they’ll walk away from everything just to be free. You simply cannot afford to do that if you want a healthy financial future. Consult with your attorney and a good financial advisor so you have a clear picture of your family’s finances, what you own, what you owe, and what you need now, and in the years to come.
Protect your sanity. Assemble a team to support you. Do not underestimate the emotional trauma of divorce. Even if you are the one who wants the divorce and filed for it, divorce is hard on many levels. It ranks right up there with death of a spouse as one of the most traumatic lifetime events.
Assemble a team to support you. That team should include a lawyer, a financial advisor, and a therapist. Friends and family are wonderful and have their place, but their place is not in the middle of your marriage or divorce.
Just because a marriage ends in divorce, does not mean your relationship was not successful. Sometimes, we have to let go of one phase of our lives to move into a new phase. Letting go with love will benefit the whole family.