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5 Tips to protect your family’s interest during divorce or separation

>> Oct 31, 2018

Going through a divorce is never easy. Even in the best circumstances, emotions run high and it can be difficult to make rational decisions that keep your family's best interests at heart. This is especially true, where minor children are involved and both parents are actively pursuing custody. The very nature of the situation creates an adversarial relationship between the parents, which can cause each person to lose sight of the important issues. While every divorce is unique, following these guidelines can help you keep a level head and do what's best for the entire family.
1. Organization is the Key
Even though you're likely going to hire a professional family lawyer you're going to have to do quite a bit of work to prepare for your divorce. If you can get the majority of this work done in advance, you'll be giving your attorney a better starting point and this will help him formulate a stronger strategy. Additionally, doing this type of work yourself can save you money, if your divorce lawyer is charging you an hourly rate instead of a flat fee.

So, how do you prepare for your divorce? You will need to gather as much financial data as you can find, assembling bank statements, investment and savings reports, statements from credit card companies, mortgage papers, and any other statements that have a bearing on the household's assets and debts. This should also include any child rearing costs, such as school tuitions, medical bills, and other recurring costs. These statements will be necessary in determining the division of property, the establishment of support payments, and issues related to child custody, so it's important to create a complete picture. Keep in mind that the judge will base his decision on this information.

2. Try Mediation
Family court creates a situation in which each party is competing with the other in a combative manner. While there are rules of court to keep things civil, emotions do heat up and hearings often become an arena for name-calling and accusations. The goal of attorneys in this situation is to earn rulings in favor of his or her client, which means doing everything possible to make the opposing side look bad.

Conversely, mediation is a more civilized way to settle the issues in a divorce. While attorneys are still present, their role is to advise clients and ensure their client's rights aren't abused. In this situation, the two parties come together to negotiate the issues that would otherwise be decided in a lengthy divorce trial. They try to settle the division of property, child custody and support, and other issues amicably. In addition to keeping the situation more civilized, mediation can also save both parties money in court costs and additional attorney fees.

3. Develop a Parenting Plan
In some situations, working together with your former partner may be more problematic. Many couples end up in divorce, because one partner is abusive, either towards the spouse, or towards the children. A tendency to be violent can create a difficult situation for everyone involved and is probably handled best through court proceedings.

Otherwise, it's a good idea to try to work together to develop a parenting plan that you can present to the judge. Even if your case goes to court, rather than mediation, showing the judge that you can work together will help him make more favorable rulings. More importantly, it will help you ensure your children aren't thrown into turmoil over the divorce. The break-up of the family will be stressful enough for your children, so trying to avoid arguments and insults will help make a smoother transition. It's important for your children to know that they can still count on both parents, even though you won't be living together.

4. Reach Out for Support
Even in cases where couples can separate amicably, a divorce is extremely stressful and emotionally devastating. It's a time when everything is in turmoil and the family dynamic is changing. While this is certainly upsetting to your children, it can also be distressing to the adults involved in the divorce. A lawyer helps you handle the legal aspects of the situation, but you may still need help to learn how to cope with the emotional aspects of it.

Fortunately, there are many support groups in most communities that can help people going through a divorce. Some groups restrict access to women only, or men only, while other groups are open to anyone. You may have to browse around to find the group that's the right fit for you. The time it takes to find the right group is worth it, because this type of peer support can help you make sense of things. You're essentially starting a new life, so group sessions can provide you with insight, understanding, and inform you of resources that you didn't know existed.

5. When the Dust Settles
Once everything has been settled in court, it will be time to start your new lives. In the beginning, there will be some hurt feelings that will need time to mend. No one is going to get everything they want in a divorce and each of you may need to take time to process what the judge's rulings will mean for you. You will have to divide up the property in accordance with court rulings and begin any court-ordered support payments. There may also be a change to child custody arrangements, which will have to be instituted.

Once everyone becomes accustomed to the new situation, healing can begin. Everyone will have to learn new ways of relating to one another, because relationships have changed. This may be a time for you to reconnect with your spouse on a platonic level. If you can get along and become friendly, as time goes on, the situation will become easier to handle. Additionally, your children will feel more at ease, if they can see that their parents are on good terms. While divorce can create tense situations, it's important to keep in mind that it's only temporary. At some point, you will have to relate to one another and communicate without lawyers present.

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
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