4 Key Factors Dads Need To Keep In Mind During A Divorce
There’s no way around it - going through a divorce is difficult. The entire process consumes both time and money and is emotionally draining.
However, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Around 40% to 50% of married couples in the U.S. divorce, according to an American Psychological Association article. That means that around half of everyone you know may get divorced.
So, while the action of getting divorced is certainly not new in the general sense, it certainly may be for you.
The divorce process can often be convoluted, vague and extremely tedious. That’s not including any damage done within the family concerning negative emotions.
In order to make the process as smooth as possible for you, we’ve outlined key factors to keep in mind during the divorce, so you can understand, stay on top of the ball and know what’s coming.
1. Know the Law
The average person probably doesn’t know divorce laws. In fact, even if they were attorneys, they’d have to specifically be divorce law attorneys in order to know exactly what should be done.
Knowing the law is important for preparing for the process and allows you to be focused on every little so that there are no missed opportunities. It’s also just a generally good idea to be informed when going into something you aren’t familiar with.
For example, many states require couples with children to go to a co-parenting class before the courts will consider granting a divorce. Other states require waiting periods between living together, separation and legal divorce. Still, other states have a minimum time where newly divorced may not marry again until the time has run out.
Knowing the law is extremely important to be able to prepare, contemplate and keep your cool.
2. Consider Alimony
Alimony, also called spousal maintenance, is when a court requires one party in the divorce to make payments to the other as a form of maintaining their former lifestyle for a period of time.
As long as there are no prenuptial or postnuptial agreements which have waived alimony, then either party may request such a financial arrangement. From there, the amount of alimony is decided based on a number of factors such as the spouse’s ability to find employment, their contribution to the marriage, the financial condition of the paying spouse as well as other factors.
Alimony proceedings can be quite confusing. That’s why most people seek the help of a professional spousal maintenance attorney who specializes in alimony proceedings. As the matter may involve thousands or even millions of dollars, it is very important to have a specialized attorney who can dedicate all of their energy to your case.
3. Be Honest and Responsible
Divorces are terrible -- for everyone. No one has a good time splitting up what they thought would last forever. Yet so many couples drag vitriol and bitterness into the divorce proceedings. Honestly, that only makes it more painful and drags it out unnecessarily.
For example, when the two parties cannot decide how to split assets, squabbling over every little thing, it can exhaust patient and draw things out, sometimes even for years.
During the process, try to take responsibility for what might have been your fault. Or, if you don’t believe that to be the case, at least try to remain cordial in order to get the process over faster and not do any more harm to the already strained relationship. You don’t want to come across as uncooperative or rash - that may hurt your case and can negatively impact the decisions which are made.
4. Think of the Kids
You surely already do think of your kids. This is an important mindset to continue focusing on throughout the proceedings. Some things can get out of hand when emotions run high. But under no circumstances should you use your kids as any sort of pawn during this process. Try to keep your kids out of it as much as possible and try to remain civil and polite with your spouse.
Studies have shown that children can hold onto the damaging impact of a divorce well into their adult life. Try to minimize any repercussions by focusing on what they need, not how you may or may not be feeling towards your soon to be ex.
This includes talking badly about the other parent in front of your kids. While it may feel cathartic in the moment, it is actually creating a rift between their parents in their minds. It can impact how they view family, trust and how to treat others. How you treat your soon-to-be-ex at the worst of times will be highly illustrative to your kids about how they should treat others. Having respect for others at all times is a lesson they should learn -- not unlearn -- from you.
Liz S. Coyle is the Director of Client Services for JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law. She also serves as a paralegal for the Family Law Department. She is responsible for internal and external communications for the firm.