Despite the fact that divorce is quite common these days, it’s still an important life decision that one shouldn’t walk into recklessly.
If it is apparent that a divorce is inevitable, it is vital to begin to take steps to prepare yourself financially and emotionally for what will certainly be a trying time.
Right from the onset, you should be aware of the following four points that you will need to accept about divorce.
1. Nobody “wins” in Divorce
Depending on the nature of your divorce, it might be tempting to think that divorce will be an emotional release and a financial victory. The reality, however, is that you won’t get the one-sided settlement you might have been hoping for, unless the other party wants to give you one.
Even in cases where one partner has been involved in adultery or other nefarious behaviour, the court will still ensure that the rights and interests of both parties are protected when final decisions are made on the division of property and support payments. The courts may award a one-sided judgment in situations where one party has defrauded or otherwise taken advantage of the other party and in an effort to right the wronged party.
2. You will need to make compromises
An extension of the previous point – you will need to give up some ground to get a settlement, possibly leaving you unsatisfied with the results. A head-to-head war of attrition between a separating couple will end with nothing more than costly invoices and simmering resentment. Rather than charging headfirst into battle, it may be better to temper expectations from the start to minimize the turmoil.
3. Your lifestyle will change significantly
Say goodbye to some old habits and routines following your divorce. You may need to move houses, you may have a strained relationship with some old friends who are more loyal to your ex, and you may have your children on a scheduled rotation. This change of pace may be abrupt and unfamiliar for some time.
4. You will need time to heal emotionally
The ending of any long relationship will require time for grief and emotional healing. Even if it was clear that the cons of the marriage outweighed the pros, it may still be difficult to get over the memory of those pros. You should consult closely with your family lawyer or a counsellor to help you move on. This is particularly true where one party has requested the separation and may have had more time to digest the reality whereas it has come as a surprise to the other party.
In all cases, the most important step is to be prepared. Charging into a divorce without taking the time to plan how it will affect your financial and personal well-being can lead to regrets. Taking the necessary steps to get in touch with a family lawyer and leverage their experience will put you in a much better position both during and after your separation.