They call it the divorce process for a reason. It can take some time to untangle your life from your soon-to-be ex-spouse's life. Although ending a marriage can be stressful, it can be helpful to remember the long-term impacts of divorce while taking it one day at a time. The positive steps you are able to take during a divorce will help you become happier and better adjusted in the years to come.
You are only human after all, so you might expect some hiccups and emotional outbursts along the way, but it is in your best interest to try to keep your cool during the breakup. Individuals with experience in settling divorce cases have recommendations for how to handle divorce with grace. Some common do's and don'ts of divorce may be able to serve as a guide for the individual seeking to end a marriage.
What to do during a divorce
It can be helpful to focus on what you can do versus what you can't. Here are some common divorce do's:
- Do understand the divorce laws in Ohio. Start by researching the process and method for divorce.
- Do understand that divorce alternatives exist. You may be able to have the marriage annulled, or you could choose legal separation.
- Do understand that there are also options for settling a divorce out of court, such as with mediation.
- Do practice full disclosure. When it comes to personal and marital property, know what you have and share that information.
- Do keep your cool. Try to remain as reasonable and accommodating as much as possible. If you are able to undergo the process with grace and go with the flow, you will likely settle you divorce a lot faster and then move on with your life.
- Do support your children. If you have kids, try to keep them out of any conflict and don't make them choose sides.
- Do keep your spouse updated about your children's whereabouts, if you have children, so that he or she doesn't worry that you have taken off with them.
Also, if you don't typically handle the family finances, now may be a good time to take a deeper look into things.
What to avoid during a divorce
It can be tempting to lose sight of your goals and give in to some of these common don'ts. If you avoid these missteps, you will likely make the transition easier:
- Don't act out in anger. You may be tempted to act out, but any rash decisions you make now can come up in the courtroom and reflect poorly on your case.
- Don't make too many big decisions. Try not to accept a new, faraway job or make plans to move to another state. It will be much easier if you wait until after the divorce.
- Don't attempt to hide assets. It can come back to haunt you.
- Don't give away your property. Your spouse's attorney and the court will be looking out for this behavior, which can make it seem like you are trying to hide your assets.
Don't violate any orders. If there are temporary custody orders, be sure to follow them. The same goes for any restraining orders. It is better to follow them now and fight to have them removed in court later. Keep up with your responsibilities and a judge will likely be more sympathetic to you.
Making the process easier
A divorce can truly be a test of patience and character. You are likely to succeed in ending your marriage with a little forethought and some deep breaths. One final don't -- you don't have to go it alone unless you choose to do so.
A support team can be a tremendous help. With the emotional support of friends or a family therapist, the guidance of a financial professional, and the experience and knowledge of a skilled family law attorney, the journey can be one in which you come out on the other side a better person for it.