Practical Tips for Women Facing Divorce
Thinking seriously about getting a divorce? Perhaps, there is nothing to think about because it is already happening. Whatever the case, if divorce appears to be inevitable, it is important to think carefully about how to proceed.
This is the first of a series of practical tips for women facing divorce:
1) Consult with a good divorce attorney!
Get recommendations for an attorney from women who have had successful divorces. If you happen to have a friend who is an attorney, ask who he/she would recommend. Check out reputation and record of success. The initial consultation may be free. If it is not, it is still worth paying the fee for an hour long meeting.
The reason this is important is that you need to know and understand the laws of your state concerning divorce. Every state has its own set of laws dealing with divorce. Just because your cousin in another state was successful in her property or alimony settlements, it doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed the same outcome in your state.
It is important to get a read on what the laws in your state are, how they are being interpreted currently and how they may apply to your situation. Ask lots of questions including legal fees
Pay close attention to how you feel during this interview. For future reference, are you comfortable enough with this person to work together on your case?
2) If your separation is fairly amicable, explore divorce mediation.
There are professionals specifically trained as divorce mediators. You can find certified divorce mediators for your state online at various sites such as Mediate.com. As always, a personal recommendation helps. Whether you pursue mediation or the two of you are able to work out a separation/divorce agreement with out the help of a professional, remember that you will still need that initial consultation. You will also need your own attorney to review any agreement you make to be sure your individual interests and those of your children are protected.
3) Consult legal advice before moving out of your home.
Unless you get a legal opinion that you should move out, be very careful when making such a decision. If there is a safety concern, look into restraining orders, no trespass order or whatever will protect you while you remain in your home.
Moving out to make a statement that you “won’t take it anymore” or simply to assert your independence may not be in your best interests in the long run. Some women actually rationalize that it is best for everyone if they leave their kids with their spouses and move in with their boyfriends. I have seen women who moved out have major regrets later about this decision. Be smart and talk to an attorney if you have any questions.
4) Cooperation and good will don’t always last throughout the process.
While initially, things between you and your spouse may be amicable, understand that they could get stressful as the divorce proceeds. This can be particularly true if your spouse has a girlfriend. Sometimes, men looking forward to a “new life” with another woman begin thinking more about what is best for the two of them, than what is best for their wives or even their children. So, tread carefully.
Be mindful that over time, the climate of your divorce can be influenced by the presence of a third party. This person may have more influence over your spouse than you would expect and she may be very focused on protecting their interests. Hopefully, this is not the case.
Never go looking for war. But do understand that you need to be thoughtful, knowledgeable and prepared as you proceed through your divorce. How you handle the divorce on your end could greatly effect your future and that of your children.