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Some 'don'ts' and 1 possible 'do' when divorcing

Certain things in life are unavoidable. You can't go swimming without getting wet. If you are an Ohio resident wondering whether to divorce, you can't avoid getting emotional. On one hand, you might feel anger, grief or fear. On the other, you might feel anticipation and excitement.

The common wisdom is that the smoothest way through a divorce is to keep your emotions in check and approach the matter as if it is a business transaction. As sensible as that high-level advice is, though, it can be hard to follow. But experts tend to agree that there are some things to commit to not doing - and one thing you might want to consider - to ease the transition. 

All of what follows you likely have heard before. Still, we encourage you to read this with fresh eyes and remain disposed to considering things mindfully.

Don't expect a financial windfall

Divorce means going from one household, perhaps supported by dual incomes, to two. Incomes won't increase to meet the demand, meaning sacrifice likely will be required. Focus should be on working out a plan for managing in your new situations. If you are parents, child custody and support issues present special challenges.

Don't act as if nothing is changing

Comingling of money in marriage is common. One joint account receives the earned incomes of the two spouses and goes to cover expenses. As soon as divorce is under serious consideration, separate accounts make sense. The money can still be used to meet joint obligations, but separating the funds early is a step toward equitable property division.

Don't put the children in the middle

Children are not chess pieces used to gain an advantage or inflict pain. The divorce process will affect them in challenging ways as it is without their being made a rope in a tug-of-war.

Don't rule out alternative methods

This last don't is actually a do. If you and your spouse are prepared to resolve your divorce and other issues cooperatively, consider whether something other than a trial is feasible. An attorney can help make the assessment. Ohio offers several alternative means for dissolving a marriage, including mediation. Opting for one of them might save time and/or money. 

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