Unless you are a specialised family lawyer, divorce is – for most of us- a fairly foreign affair. Even for those who have witnessed a divorce between people who they are close to, each divorce varies from party to party and can depend on a range of factors, such as the personalities involved, the amicability of the parting couple and the involvement of children or finances. As such, we discuss some strategies that are worth considering before embarking on a divorce.
Even in situations where both marital partners acknowledge that the relationship is over and a split is for the best, many feel reluctant to do the same when it comes to finances. In fact, the ‘asset’ aspect of a split is often where the most conflictive conversations arise. In anticipation of this, play it smart and keep your financial information to yourself, at least until financial proceedings demand you to disclose your assets. Also, makes sure you stay on top of your bank statements, invoices, receipts and pay slips to keep organisation to a maximum and thus stress to a minimum when the inevitable completion of the Form E is required.
We all like to get a good deal, but as they say, you get what you pay for: indeed, finding a good quality lawyer with the right skills is not something you can do at a discount price. If you are looking for a drama-free divorce, we would encourage you to do your research to find a reputable, reliable firm who will provide you with the specific, quality service you need. After all, the more knowledge and experience you have on your side, the stronger your case and the smoother your divorce experience in general.
Aside from your legal costs, a divorce can be costly in other aspects, especially if your ex-spouse is being particularly challenging or you have moved out of the former matrimonial home. Just in case things become particularly bitter, make sure you have a cash reserve for emergency expenditures, such as having to file emergency Court orders, find quality expertise or pay out living expenses.
Don’t Shout About It
Keep your intention to divorce to yourself in order to avoid unnecessary stresses or sudden time constraints. It is common that a spouse confides their divorce intents to a friend or relative, who easily lets slip to the other partner, sometimes being unaware of the seriousness of the intent. With such knowledge, your ex-partner might rush to find a better representative or submit the first set of divorce paperwork in a jurisdiction that favours them but limits you, thus getting a head start on you. Similarly, remember to watch what you discuss regarding your divorce to other people; anything you do not want the Court to know about or use against you should not be shared. Discuss any issues or initial thoughts with your lawyer, who will think three steps ahead to anticipate any traps you might be getting yourself into, based on their past experiences of similar cases.
A Smooth Ride?
As jolly as your ex-spouse might seem, this is a highly stressful time for all parties involved and the less pleasant side of their personality might emerge. What started as an amicable agreement to separate could suddenly escalate into a feud partners. Be prepared and aware of the potential for such emotional attacks or outbursts, whilst also ensuring you have as much information and evidence as possible to protect yourself, should things turn sour.
First Things First
To file the first set of paperwork with the Court- the divorce Petition – is worth doing sooner rather than later; it may well be the first step in a very essential, overdue process. As long as you have proper reasoning for requesting a divorce and rely on sufficient grounds for the jurisdiction in which you file, the Petition will be accepted by the Court. Choosing which ground to base your divorce on is something a solicitor can help you with; an expert can help you to complete the Petition in such a way to ensure that you keep yourself in the best possible light in the Court’s eyes.
Unfortunately, the Court has heard many lies and has been subject to myriad of manipulative attempts, but at the end of the day, what may seem like a crafty plan to you is probably clearly just that to a Judge. Any attempt to manipulate the Court to rule in your favour will never work: the Court prioritise the safety of any children involved and fairness between a parting couple above anything else.
Waste Not Want Not
During divorce discussions, you may well be tempted to pick holes in your ex-spouse’s arguments. However, the more time, effort and money you spend disagreeing, the less either of you will have to carry on your lives independently, after the divorce. Except in extenuating circumstances, legal costs generally are paid with funds from the matrimonial pot, and therefore the more that you spend in winning an argument, the less you will have to equip you with your life post-divorce.
Divorce can be a painful and sometimes bitter experience between a separating couple. But no matter how much you dislike your ex, your children will still love them. Divorce should only ever be something between two adults and should never involve the children. Whilst child custody and living arrangements are common issues frequently discussed during divorce proceedings, parents must remember to protect their children from any anger, spite or resentment they might feel towards each other. Keep in mind that ‘partner’ and ‘parent’ are two separate roles, and one should continually aim to maintain an amicable parental relationship for the sake of your little ones.
Whilst divorce is never an easy ride, there are ways in which you can keep the experience as pain-free as possible. At the start of negotiations, establish some goals that you would like to reach, whether it is to keep full custody of your children, receive a certain amount of maintenance or simply hold on to any finances that are rightfully yours. With a clear idea of your objectives, and an expert to guide you through the process, you can withstand the demands to your energy, time and patience to come out the other end, satisfied with your results.