A new year brings an opportunity for new beginnings. While it is a difficult and challenging topic, for hundreds of families, a new year may also mean divorce. In fact, the first few months of a new year are typically the busiest for family law firms as we receive an increase in inquiries for the divorce process.
As a Collaborative Family Law attorney and certified mediator who has also been through a divorce, I know how important it is to research the ins and outs before beginning the process with your spouse. Divorce doesn’t have to be destructive or combative – and unfortunately, I learned that the hard way. My personal experience almost 15 years ago inspired me to leave my corporate career and attend law school to become a Collaborative Divorce attorney. I founded ROAD to RESOLUTION to help others divorce in a non-adversarial manner. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, here are my top five suggestions for preparing for the process:
Get Educated on Divorce
If separation has crossed your mind, a pre-divorce education is an incredibly helpful place to start. This type of confidential introductory meeting is essentially Divorce 101. If you don’t know where to begin or what your first step should be if or when you’re ready to separate, a pre-divorce education will help prepare you and give you the confidence you may need This knowledge will also help you understand the many requirements for separating spouses that you’ll want to meet immediately so your divorce can move as quickly as possible.
Research Your Options
There are many ways to get divorced and it’s important to learn about your options. You’re probably most familiar with traditional divorce litigation. However, I’m personally passionate about newer and healthier divorce processes that will save you time and money while keeping you out of court. Through voluntary options like Mediation and Collaborative Law, you and your spouse can get divorced without resorting to litigation that is often harmful with long-lasting negative effects. Alternative dispute resolution methods such as Collaborative Law and Mediation are known to prioritize the well-being of families and create co-parenting plans that work for everyone involved, including children.
Develop a Strategy
It’s essential that you determine what you want out of your divorce by looking ahead to the future rather than dwelling in the past. This can include familial, financial, and emotional wants and needs. For instance, some of my clients make goals for their co-parenting plans, living situations, and/or finances and investments. A common sentiment is that clients want to be happier after divorce and they are committed to doing whatever it takes to get them there.
Choosing an attorney who you are comfortable with and can trust is the most important part of preparing for a divorce. Research attorneys who focus on the type of process you’re interested in pursuing by visiting their websites and looking at their social media platforms. Another great way to vet attorneys is to read their Google reviews. These types of testimonies from real people can quickly narrow down your search. When you find an attorney you like, call their office and schedule an initial consultation. Before your meeting, make a list of questions you have for them about their services.
No matter which divorce process you choose, there will be tough conversations and difficult decisions. Prepare yourself for these types of overwhelming emotions by practicing mindfulness and taking time for yourself. If they don’t already, I often recommend that my clients work one-on-one with a counselor or mental health specialist to help them during divorce. It’s important to remember that the divorce process is only temporary but the life after a healthy divorce resolution is full of new opportunity, happiness, and peace for you and your family.
We’re Here to Help
ROAD to RESOLUTION can help you effectively navigate your separation and divorce journey. Our legal team can provide education and guidance before, during, and after divorce. Please give us a call at (980) 260-1600 and we can discuss your legal options through Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Family Law. Our Charlotte-based team is here to help you and your family in the Lake Norman area and beyond.
Note: This article is intended to be informational only and shall not be construed as legal advice.