Getting a divorce can be the best direction to take when couples are unhappy together, but it will never be a joyful part of life. Divorcing someone is a sad situation to be in, but it can be made more pleasant if things remain amicable between you and your soon-to-be ex. That's especially important if you have children and will be co-parenting with your former life partner.
Problems can arise in even the friendliest of divorces though. If you don't have a divorce attorney to safeguard your own best interests, you may end up getting taken advantage of by someone you once trusted. Make sure you avoid the following common mistakes during your amicable divorce.
1. Don't Cling Emotionally to Property You Might Lose
If you lived in a house for the entire marriage or while raising your children together, it can be hard to consider selling your home. Beyond that, it may be difficult to part with paintings and even furniture that have become emotionally significant to you. When it comes to getting the best settlement, though, you need to try to set aside all emotional attachments to mere stuff.
2. Don't Try to Wing It
If you go into a divorce mediation without a sense of what's most important to you, you may wind up with a lot of regrets. While you need to be open to compromise on several points, you should prioritize what you most want to accomplish with mediation. You won't get everything you request, but you should stand up for what you most want when it is reasonable.
3. Don't Put Your Ex's Needs Above Your Own
One dilemma that many people don't have when getting a divorce is prioritizing the needs of a soon-to-be ex, but it happens sometimes. It's more common during divorce mediation than litigation. When you are tempted to prioritize the best interests of your ex, talk to your lawyer and ask for help in assessing the situation. It's important to protect yourself and your kids first.
4. Don't Choose Mediation If You're Angry
Mediation is typically the best choice for couples who are getting a divorce when both parties are reasonable and motivated to work things out peacefully. However, if you secretly carry a lot of anger beneath the friendly façade you try to embrace for the sake of the kids, divorce mediation may not be for you. Seek the advice of an attorney to help you decide if you're unsure.
5. Don't Be Inflexible
Both parties can be willing to listen to each other and be open to negotiation on some issues during mediation. If you dig your heels in and insist on being inflexible on all aspects of the divorce, then you will find that mediation is a waste of time, money, and effort. Speak to your divorce attorney on matters that you can't compromise on, but try to keep an open mind on most issues.
6. Don't Forget About Inflation
When you are planning for the financial future of you and your children during the divorce, it's important to consider the possible impact of predictable inflation in the future. What may seem like a fair settlement may seem less so when inflation is factored in, which may be a greater concern if you have very small children.
Divorce litigation should be a last resort, especially when kids are involved, so mediation is usually the best option during your divorce. Simply be proactive to protect your own best interests and seek help from a divorce lawyer throughout the mediation process. Dougherty & Associates can help you with a vast array of family law matters, including mediation.