Divorce and the associated financial and parenting issues can be one of the most emotionally draining and financially crippling experiences that a person can endure. Conversely the process can be handled with dignity and respect.
Here are 6 tips to help you avoid a messy and expensive divorce.
1. Manage your emotions
Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family or professional help to get you through this emotionally difficult time.
2. Manage your behaviour
How messy the process can get depends entirely upon the parties’ behaviour. You cannot control or dictate how your partner will behave following your separation but you can take charge of your own behaviour.
Think before you send an angry email or text message, don’t yell and argue in front of the children and think twice before you throw someone’s clothes out the window! You can and are often held accountable for your actions.
3. Be child focused
At separation you should always remain child focused. The goal of the family court is to determine “What is in the best interests of the children”.
Do not involve your children in the relationship breakdown, don’t use them as messengers or pawns in a game. It is generally in the best interest of a child to have a relationship with both parents (provided there is no risk of harm).
You may no longer be partners but you are still parents and you will share many events with your children in the future. Remember that how you behave now will determine what relationship you will have with your children in the future.
4. Know your assets
Try and have a good knowledge of your financial position when you separate. It is important to identify and know the matrimonial assets and liabilities. A good knowledge of your financial affairs will mean that your solicitor can advise you of your entitlements and obligations early on.
5. Don’t rush into anything
Often parties make rash decisions at the time of separation such as moving out of the matrimonial home, cleaning out bank accounts, or stopping children from seeing their other parent. If possible, see a solicitor before you separate to understand the implications of your actions moving forward and so that you are guided through the process.
6. Choose the right lawyer
It is important to choose the right lawyer for you. There are lots of lawyers but not all practice family law. Seek a lawyer who you feel comfortable with and who is a specialist in family law.