Only you know what you want for the future, so it’s important that you be as involved as possible in your divorce. Your divorce will have a lasting impact on your life, especially in the few years immediately following your split. To make sure things go smoothly and that your legal actions reflect your wishes, it’s important for you to be an active participant in your divorce.
To be more involved, follow these simple steps for active participation during your divorce:
Provide information: Finding the right attorney is the first step in your divorce, but your attorney can’t just take it from there. The more information you provide your attorney about your assets and your marriage, the more your attorney has to work with. Ask your attorney what you should be collecting and documenting. Do what you can to gather all pertinent account information, documents, financial statements, tax forms, and other information about your children or your properties. If your attorney has everything they need, they will have more of an understanding of what you want and how to get it.
Communicate: Whenever a question or concern comes up, make sure you communicate those issues with your attorney. If you don’t fully understand something, ask until do. Whether that includes clarification about your proposed custody agreement or an issue you have with the loss of a certain asset in your property division, make sure you communicate your concerns.
Prepare your children: Make sure you take the time to prepare your children for life with divorced parents. While it might be easier to put those discussions off, making sure your kids are aware of the changes that are coming their way can make the transition less difficult for them. Talk to your children and let them know that you are there for them and ready to answer any questions or concerns they might have. You don’t necessarily need to keep your kids updated on the legal progress of your divorce, but if you and their other parent have decided how you’ll be splitting your parenting time, it might be wise to sit down with them and discuss how this change will work and when.
Keep emotions in check: Make sure you take the time to deal with your own emotions outside of the courtroom, that way you can focus on being level-headed and practical when it counts. If you let your emotions get the best of you, you may say things you don’t mean, lose out on important negotiations, and make things more contentious and challenging. Instead, try to deal with your emotions by discussing the issue with close friends, family, or even a therapist. Also, take some time for yourself during the divorce process and afterward. Invest in a new hobby, hit the gym, or try picking up an old interest you’d set aside years ago. Whatever your method, just make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
The divorce process, in general, can be very complicated. While your lawyer is certainly the expert on the issue, you simply can’t leave everything up to them – they need you and your input. The more actively you participate, the easier your divorce process will be for everyone involved.