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10 Tips to Get Through Your Contested Divorce

Cool it

Keep your cool and do not over react. Even if you feel like the world is coming to an end, many people have gotten through, survived and even flourished after a divorce. Losing your temper is a bad thing to do when you’re in the middle of a divorce. Do not file false orders of protection to further your case, and do not cause someone to be able to file an order of protection against you.

Get Counseling

Even if your marriage is over, get counseling for yourself. Counseling will help you deal with the emotional issues you’re experiencing as well as help you with keeping your cool.

Silence is golden

If you can’t say something nice, just say nothing. Your mom was right. Now that you’re getting a divorce rehashing old wounds is over. Let it go, be quiet, and move on. On this note, if you both have attorneys, do not speak to the opposing counsel yourself. Let your attorney do it. If your spouse is representing himself, refer him to your attorney. Allow the lawyers to discuss the legal issues so that you both can concentrate on parenting.

Act with integrity

No matter what reason you’re getting a divorce, try to act with the highest amount of integrity that you have. Lying, sneaking, and illegal activities will get you no where. Now that you’re involved in a divorce you will have to answer to everything you say or do. Assume everything you say is being recorded, and everything you do is being noted.

Honesty is the best policy

Always tell your attorney everything even if it puts you in a bad light. Do not make up stories about your ex to make him look worse. Just tell the truth. Most states have no fault divorce now so the why of divorce is not going to matter much anyway. So, even if the divorce is your fault, just tell the truth. Your attorney cannot represent you well if she isn’t aware of the circumstances. The truth will come out, so she may as well know it going in.

Keep children out of it

Do not talk to your children about your divorce case. Do not show your children divorce documents, or in any way talk badly about the other parent within their ear shot. Don’t so much as roll your eyes or grimace at the mention of his name. This is your child’s parent. If asked, you tell the children that you both love them and that this is an adult issue, between the two of you. You say this no matter how you feel. In this matter, your feelings are irrelevant.

Record everything

Create a notebook, or use a calendar to notate every visitation, parenting time, phone call, or conflict . Notate things without emotion or commentary. Keep any correspondence, emails, letters, phone records. Realize that it depends on what state you live in whether you can actually record phone conversations or not. If it is illegal, it would be best not to do that. If you chose to go this route, please do keep it from your children. Do not forget the tip above.

Digitize it

Take digital photos of everything you own and organize it by his, mine and ours. Provide this to your attorney. Include your cars, jewelry, home, even your washer and dryer.

Prove it

If you make an accusation about something make sure you can back this up with third party evidence. Otherwise there is no point in making the accusation. If you cannot prove it, just let it go.

Be real

Sometimes it is easy to get carried away with demands during a divorce. Be realistic in your demands. If you are asking for a lot of money each month, or all the property, consider the other side’s view for a moment. Your ex spouse has a right to live a good life after divorce just as you do. Divorce court is not the place to act out your revenge fantasies. You’re not going to get even in court. More than likely if you’re unrealistic you will get a lot less in court than what you would have gotten in an agreed settlement.

Stephanie Watson is a friend, sister, daughter, mom, step-mom, and wife. She lives, loves and laughs and works as a content strategist, and virtual assistant in beautiful Huntsville Alabama.  View profile

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