No one says “I do” with the intention of divorcing down the road. Divorce can happen to anyone for any number of reasons. Sometimes two people know it’s over long before divorce proceedings are initiated. Other times, one party may be blind-sided. No matter what the internal struggles in the relationship, there are some definite do’s and don’ts in a divorce that applies to men and women.
Things You Should Do
Hire a lawyer who is specifically experienced in divorce cases. Never try to represent yourself – you’ll only frustrate yourself and the judge. It’s a complicated process and an attorney will make it infinitely easier. Divorcing couples are often emotional and kids may be involved. A divorce attorney is a calm buffer.
Continue to live your life. It’s easy to let a divorce consume every waking hour, seek solace in drink, isolate yourself, or pursue other unhealthy behaviors. It’s important to continue to visit with friends and family, see a movie, read, and do other things that generate positive outcomes. Talking to a therapist may also help.
Keep any appointments associated with the divorce proceedings and always be prompt. Your behavior as a mature, capable, and organized adult will speak volumes to the court. Being spiteful, contentious, and disrespectful to your spouse will only hurt your case.
A divorce can be costly and eventually you’ll be starting over in different circumstances. Don’t spend frivolously and remember that there are additional expenses associated with divorce, such as lost time at work. Be frugal and budget carefully.
Things You Shouldn’t Do
Let your attorney do their job and don’t take matters into your own hands. Don’t threaten, intimidate, stalk, harass, or damage your spouse’s property, and don’t post anything negative on social media.
Never violate court rulings during or after the divorce. They’re legally binding and violating any part can result in fines or jail time. The court will set very specific rules about everything from visitation and alimony to traveling with the kids.
Don’t speak ill of the other parent, try to make kids choose sides, or confide in them about the divorce. It’s a form of emotional abuse that has long-lasting effects on their emotional and mental health. If you feel like crying, don’t do it in front of the kids. They look to parents for safety and security and seeing a parent cry can be especially traumatic.
Don’t rush into another relationship – these tend to be more about comfort, an effort to heal, and making you feel good than anything else. It’s a confusing time for you and the children. Introducing a new romantic relationship is a recipe for disaster. Being alone for a time isn’t the end of the world and gives you the opportunity to focus on your well-being and that of the children.
Whether you need a Divorce, are dealing with Custody or Child Support issues, or need representation in a Personal Injury matter, the Law Offices of Theodore H. Enfield can confidently assist you. To learn more about how we can help you or to discuss the facts of your case with our attorneys, call to schedule your free consultation.