Is It Possible to Have a Perfect Divorce?
A “perfect divorce” unfolds in a manner that ends the marriage in a healthy and productive way and minimizes the damage for all involved. Be mindful that issues can not only impact finances and custody and parenting time but also may include struggles with depression, self-esteem, and feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Ensure That a Divorce Is What You Want
Be sure that you make the decision to get divorced with clarity. It is common for people to threaten divorce based on their emotions but without the time needed to fully assess the decision. Unless you are dealing with domestic violence or other extenuating circumstances, most experts advise against getting divorced until you have gone through marriage counseling and the separation process.
Avoid Rushing in to the Legal Process
Even most divorce attorneys advise against rushing in to the legal process. Just because you have put the time in and determined that divorce is the right path forward does not mean that you are ready to take that next major step.
You first want to ensure that you—and hopefully your spouse—have the necessary financial and emotional support in place. Be prepared that even an amicable divorce is going to take a toll on both of you emotionally and physically. Be mindful that you and your spouse may not be on the same emotional page. If your spouse needs time, be patient. It will pay dividends in the end. If you are the one who needs time, be forthright with your spouse and ask them to be patient with you as you adapt.
Identify Your Goals
Once you have decided to end your marriage and come to peace with that decision, it is time to identify your goals for the divorce. This may seem simple at first but can be more difficult in practice when you actually have to formalize your needs and wants. A technique recommended is to make a list. You do not have to complete the list all at once. It can be something that you append and edit over time. As it grows, you should also begin to prioritize it, which will help later in the process.
Identify the Goals of Your Spouse
Divorce lawyers skilled in mediation also recommend trying to see that same task from the perspective of your spouse. Once you have a handle on what you want to achieve, try to determine what your spouse wants to achieve. You can even ask them or perhaps broach these ideas in therapy.
Think About How You Will Protect Your Children
Divorces can be more complicated when there are young children involved, and you should put equal effort into thinking about not only what you want for your kids but what they want for themselves. Work on this from the foundation that you and your spouse both love your kids and want what is best for them. If you focus on your kids and remove your emotions as much as possible, that approach is more likely to be reciprocated. You may also want to consider therapy for your kids. There will be an emotional toll on your children, and it can manifest in many different ways depending on the child.
Never Put Your Children in the Middle
Never put your child in the middle even if it is well intentioned. Using your child as an ally, confidant, messenger or spy is a loyalty trap that puts your child in a no-win situation. Parents can unwittingly put their children in the position of having to decide who is to blame.
Discuss What You Want With Your Spouse
When you are ready and when your spouse is ready, tell them what your personal goals are for the divorce and what you want for the children. Talk again about their goals and their hopes for the children. At this point, focus on all of the common ground you have. This is going to be the foundation for your success going forward.
Move Forward With Divorce Mediation if Possible
Divorce attorneys can suggest mediators who help the two of you achieve a middle ground. A mediator does not represent either you or your spouse but instead is an impartial third party who attempts to help you both reach an accord. It is important to note that choosing mediation does not mean that you cannot have your own family lawyer who focuses on protecting your interests. Your spouse can as well, of course, and that may motivate a reticent spouse to agree to mediation.
Be Prepared to Compromise
If you have been following the earlier advice, then at this point, you have been involved in a back-and-forth process of identifying your goals and comparing them with your spouse’s goals. Although it would indeed be perfect if your goals and your spouse’s goals were completely aligned, that is unlikely. Through the process of prioritizing your wants, you probably have an idea of what you are willing to give up. It is also important to focus on the sacrifices that your spouse is making so that it feels like a compromise and not a loss. Also, be willing to lean on your mediator and the divorce lawyer representing you to reach these agreements.
Stay Calm. Manage Your Stress. Consider Therapy.
Focus on being calm and patient. Manage your stress. Eat a balanced diet, and take time to exercise. Make time for friends and family for that emotional support, and be willing to pamper yourself and even reward yourself when you and your spouse have made progress.
Consider a Divorce Coach
Family law attorneys and therapists are not the only resources available to you during your divorce. Another option, one that has become increasingly popular in recent years, is the certified divorce coach. The role of a coach is to support you, help you avoid mistakes and assist you in navigating your life, which is more complex for the time being.
Find Ways to Communicate Without Conflict
Divorce can change the way that you communicate with each other. There is greater potential for conflict, and you should look for ways to minimize it. In fact, there are apps available that are specifically designed for divorcing couples with features like a shared calendar. This lets you minimize the use of emails and texting, which have great potential for conflict.
The Help You Need to Achieve a Perfect Divorce
Lawrence Law is New Jersey’s divorce and family law firm. We appreciate that these are difficult personal times for our clients that must be navigated with care. We can represent you in a contested divorce but also offer divorce mediation and arbitration. Our law firm has offices in Watchung and Red Bank, and if you would like to schedule a consultation with a family lawyer, you can call us at 908-645-1000 or contact us online.