It’s going to be emotional. It’s going to be hard. It’s a divorce. Here are 4 things that are unpleasant – and very common – when a married couple unties the knot.
1. You Can Divorce Your Partner, But You Can’t Divorce the Mother or Father of Your Children. If you have children, you’re going to be connected to your spouse for the rest of your life. You’ll both show up at soccer games. You’ll both be there when the grown child is walking down the aisle at their wedding. There will be the birth of grandchildren and the death of grandparents. You’re going to have to find your way through all these situations. It’s really not acceptable to issue ultimatums to your joint children. Avoid saying things like “if he/she is there, I’m not coming”. Choose how you’ll handle situations. You may want to keep separate from the ex – even when you’re in the same room. You may be able to smile and make small talk. If the person cheated, lied or hurt you deeply, this is going to be hard. Just remind yourself that even though he’s out of your life, you still share children.
2. A Divorce Doesn’t Start When You Make the Decision. It doesn’t start until the papers are filed. You’ll meet with a lawyer. You may go through mediation. You may end up with a contested or uncontested divorce. You go to court or you sign the papers. You may have to attend child-rearing classes of some sort. You’re still married. You’re married until the judge issues the decree. You’ll probably be advised to act with decorum throughout this drawn-out process so nothing can come back to haunt you in court. Once it’s over, it’s not necessarily over. You’ve entered into a legal agreement – which means that if there is a dispute about child custody, child support, alimony or one partner not living up to the legal agreement, you’re back in court. You can get married in a hurry, but you can’t get divorced without going through a timely process.
3. Money Will Be an Issue. You may think that you and your spouse can arrive at an equitable solution, but money will most likely rear its ugly head. Money, property and assets become a who-gets-it decision. It may be a question of figuring out how to support the children. Or, it could be an argument over who gets the expensive new recliner or the antique clock. Know when something is important enough to stick to your guns and when to let something go.
4. Someone Will Hurt You by Taking – or Not Taking – Sides. Your soon-to-be-ex did something horrible. He or she lied or had an affair or ran up debts you knew nothing about. Still, someone will take that person’s side. It may be your in-laws who you loved and you thought loved and supported you, but they find no fault with their child. It can be a friend you thought you could count on for support, but that friend turns away. Be prepared. Let it go. Don’t do something to end a relationship that may come back around and be valuable in the future.
You can help solve problems by finding an experienced divorce attorney who will understand how hard the decisions you have to make are. You want one who will advise you even if that means telling you that you’re wrong on an issue. You need an expert who understands the laws of your state and how they are interpreted. Don’t go it alone. Get the practiced help you need from a lawyer who specializes in family law.