When it's clear that there is nothing else you can do to work on a marriage, divorce may be inevitable. If you are considering a divorce, talk to a lawyer about how to protect your best interests from start to finish in a divorce. It's then a good idea to sit down with your spouse and address these things as you proceed with caution through the divorce process.

Agree on Ways to Make This as Easy on the Kids as Possible

Children are often the most heartbroken family members during a divorce. The good news is that you can shield your kids from a lot of the pain and drama that are common in divorces. By staying on friendly terms with your ex and keeping a positive outlook in front of the children, they can more easily adjust to no longer having two parents under the same roof.

The decisions you need to make with your ex will be specific to your children and what they most need. You may want to discuss the following:

  • How to best break the news about the divorce to your children.
  • Whether your children should go to therapy for support in dealing with the divorce.
  • How you both can support your children's school and activity schedules.
  • Whether you still want to go on outings as a family with your ex.
  • What you need from each other to most effectively co-parent during the divorce.

When you are both able to help each other continue to play important roles in the kids' lives, it's easier for everyone.

Communicate About Expectations for Communication Itself

Most married couples who choose divorce do so for a variety of good reasons, and difficulty with communication is common. However, it's extremely important to set clear expectations for communication during your divorce, especially if you have children or want to remain friends when all is said and done. You need to talk respectfully to each other whenever possible.

Make this as easy on you and your soon-to-be ex as possible. For example, if you find that you both want to fight when you talk on the phone, you may decide that email will be the primary means of communication during the divorce, and that's okay. If you both are okay with checking in once per week, you may set a weekly appointment to chat during the divorce.

Set Rules for All Social Media Posts

Unflattering online posts commonly cause rancor during divorces in the time of social media. Try to take the high road with your ex and avoid airing your dirty laundry online. Ranting online ultimately make you look bad and possibly hurt your case in court, and it's also important to protect yourself from being on the receiving end of online vitriol.

Try to come to an agreement with your spouse that neither of you will post anything negative about each other during or after the divorce. Be up front about what you want when it comes to social media, too. Discuss whether you want to stay online friends and whether you will keep old posts with photos of you as a couple on your page. You both should know what to expect. 

Finally, when you know a divorce is inevitable, it's a good idea to contact a divorce lawyer right away. It's best to get advice from an attorney who's knowledgeable in family law before you even approach the topic seriously with your spouse. Dougherty & Associates represents clients throughout the Sacramento area, and our family law specialists can provide expert advice on a diverse array of issues you may face throughout your divorce.