The divorce process is often difficult, both emotionally and practically. You will have to handle a variety of tough issues. While there, unfortunately, is no way to guarantee a smooth, stress-free process, you can take some important steps to help you through it.
Every situation involves different people and circumstances. Depending on your specific set of facts and goals, you may need to consider steps in addition to the following general pieces of advice:
1. Assume nothing
Especially when the divorce comes after many years of marriage, people often think that they know everything about their soon-to-be-ex. They assume that they can accurately tell how he or she will react and whether they are getting the truth. However, during divorce, many people also learn surprising new things about the person they thought they knew so well.
Thus, it is important not to cut any corners during the process, even if some necessary steps seem excessive. Informal agreements may seem easier, but following them can later compromise your position. Likewise, divorce is the time when many people find out a spouse has been concealing assets or expenditures; paying attention to potential red flags early on can help avoid problems later.
2. Consider your options
Aggressive litigation is one way to handle divorce disputes, but it is not the only one. Collaborative law approaches such as mediation can deescalate conflict and resolve arguments, thereby saving stress and expense. Even people who have serious disagreement and personality conflicts can end up benefiting from mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods.
3. Avoid social media
With the wide prevalence of social media use today, many people turn to their account to vent when going through a tough time. Doing so during your divorce, however, can backfire significantly. Negative posts about your ex can count against you in a custody dispute, as can out-of-context pictures of drinking, partying or other behavior that may cast doubt on your parenting skills. Because it can be hard to predict how other people may interpret your posts, it is often best to stay away from social media altogether during this time.