Failed marriage, Successful Divorce

The United States has the highest divorce rate in the western world, followed by United Kingdom and Canada. Let's face it, if you are still married, you are almost an oddity. But a failed marriage does not need to mean a horrible and costly divorce. You can take simple steps to ensure that the end of your marriage is a stunning success. So, how do you end it with respect? Both parties need to grow up and approach things with maturity. If you don't have children, being mature about your break up means using methods such as mediation or negotiation to divide the assets and debts without incurring astronomical attorney fees. Maturity in those case also means realizing your legal position. A good attorney will be able to realistically assess your case and advise you on settlement strategies.  To avoid paying thousands of dollars either pursuing or defending an unreasonable position should be your main objective in a divorce. If you want to revenge on a spouse or control them financially, you better prepare to pay the price and risk ultimate defeat.  

If you have children, maturity means to love your children more than you hate your spouse. If you have a custody issue in your divorce, growing up is not an alternative; it's a must. Parental conflict is detrimental to children both during marriage and especially during and after a divorce. The energy of conflict becomes an integral part of the children's make-up. It affects their lives forever. So, if you could not stop fighting during marriage, become a mature parent during a divorce.  As your marriage ends, you may become an ex-spouse but never an ex-parent. Shielding the children from conflict  is essential to not only helping them survive your divorce but also having a good outcome yourself. Most stipulated outcomes are better than court imposed orders. It is much better to agree with the other parent on visits, schools, exchange places, etc., than to have a stranger, a judge you have just met, make decisions about the future of your children. 

Another step towards a successful divorce is to "do your homework." Make sure that you research your lawyer. The most "successful" attorney may not be the best one for your case. Working with a divorce lawyer is a relationship, which involves communication and trust. Find a lawyer you can work with. Not doing your homework at the outset of your case, can have repercussions down the line. Check your sources. Once you choose the right attorney, don't use your time discussing emotional issues. You will end up paying high hourly rate for services most attorneys are not qualified to give you. Create your divorce team by finding a good therapist. Your attorney can certainly recommend one. Doing homework also means staying involved in your case, especially through the disclosure and discovery phases. You know your financial documents a lot closer (hopefully) than your lawyer will.  Staying involved will not only give you a sense of control but also help you keep your cost down.

Applying your lawyer's advice is another good way to ensure success. You ask for it, you pay for it, make sure you follow it. 

And perhaps the most important step to ensuring a successful divorce is not to look to the law to heal you emotionally. Seeking revenge or feelings of control will not happen through litigation. All that you may accomplish is to exhaust your finances and turn the judge against you. Seek other methods of healing emotionally. Go to therapy, meditate, go on hikes in nature, take care of yourself physically; start that exercise routine you have always wanted to do but never, did citing a hundred excuses. After all, you will not have the children full time anymore. Time without children can be used to do some healing work. Emotional healing achieves the maturity I talked about earlier. Maybe during marriage, you were a crappy parent, yelling at your kids or being extra hard on them. Use your divorce to change that. Success means so much more than a financial outcome of your divorce. 

Go ahead then, divorce successfully!