Modern statistics show that anywhere from 40 to 50% of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Why this is the case could fill entire books (and has), but the fact of the reality is that for many reasons, divorce is less of a worst-case scenario and more of something that everyone should consider as a possibility when entering marriage. Even if a divorce catches you off-guard, there are still things that you can do to minimize the blow and work through the process so you both can get on with your lives. The best approach is two-fold: putting together as much preparation as possible for the divorce process while adopting a healthy mindset that will see you through.
The legal process of divorce begins when a petition is filed by one spouse with the court formally asking for divorce, even if both spouses agree. Sometimes, temporary orders will accompany this to handle immediate issues like custody or child support during the divorce process. There are several things you can do at this stage in order to get things in order.
One of the first things you should do, particularly if children or joint assets like a business you built together are present, is seek out a good lawyer. Not just any lawyer, even if they are skilled, will do. For example, Denver Family Lawyers would be intimately acquainted with some of the specificities of divorce law in not just the city, but all of Colorado. For example, Colorado no longer uses the term “custody” to define and determine how parents allocate parental responsibility and time with the minor child or children. Knowing how this affects your situation may make the difference between a smooth and rough transition into post-divorce life. As a result, when you need to find legal help, find a divorce lawyer who’s skillset matches your situation. Just as people with families will need help from a family lawyer, those who are dividing a business will want a small business lawyer.
In some cases, if the assets in question are relatively small or you and your spouse are amicable enough to negotiate in good faith, you may be able to forgo a formal court case. In this case, what you would use is a divorce mediator. This is a neutral third party who will help you facilitate your decisions during the divorce. This is not a substitute for your divorce lawyer, so always start with getting good legal help.
In some cases, if the divorce is going to get nasty, you may want to do some preparation of establishing a financial paper trail for yourself. Get a full disclosure of all financial records and accounts in order to paint as large and accurate a picture as possible of your finances before going to court.
Despite the number of people that go through divorces each year in this country, numbers are of little comfort to people once the process starts, whether it is a long time coming or a surprise. However, once the die is cast, the onus is on both you and your spouse to approach the split in a healthy way.
One of the best things you can do during the divorce process is not be afraid to lean on those close to you for financial support. It can be tempting to want to hide, and every now and again, you will want to. But falling back into this too much can be painful and damaging.
Another thing to do is something that you likely hear often, allowing yourself to grieve. Whether this is a long-term case of you growing apart or a marriage that failed quickly, accept the fact that there are different stages of grieving, and no set order. Allowing this to happen and accepting that it is not permanent will give you much-needed perspective emotionally, and even provide added clarity for the legal portion of divorce. Do not be afraid to start seeing a mental health professional for added guidance and help in this area.
When we talk about mindsets and divorce, generally the first thing that comes to mind are toxic mindsets, spouses trying to financially cripple each other or worse, using children as a weapon or bargaining chip. The biggest commonality here is the need to “win,” the worst thing you can have on your mind during the divorce process. Don’t think of this as a contest so much as a transition, in order to get the best outcome possible for everyone involved: you, your wallet, and your family.