Divorce is never easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever go through – and unfortunately, there’s no magic wand that can chase away all your stress and make the whole process a breeze. While working with the right attorney can make your whole experience better, the bottom line is that it’s going to be stressful and at times, it’s going to be difficult.
You’ve seen people who have long, drawn-out and extremely painful divorces – in fact, you may even know some of those people personally. But there are three things that you can do to make your divorce easier.
3 Things You Can Do to Make Your Divorce Easier
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for making your divorce easier, but check out these three things you can do to simplify the process and make things go more smoothly:
- Be prepared to cooperate
- Start negotiations early
- Get – and stay – organized
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
#1. Be prepared to cooperate.
When you divorce your spouse, you’ll have to do things like work out custody agreements, decide how to divide your marital property, and figure out who keeps your marital home. You could decide not to negotiate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and ask the judge to decide for you, but there are a few problems with that scenario.
First, the judge will do his or her best to be fair – but only you know your family well enough to make the best decisions for them. Most people who ask the judge to decide walk away feeling as if they “lost,” even if they did get some of the things they wanted. However, most people who negotiate their own settlements are more likely to walk away from the divorce feeling reasonably satisfied with the outcome because they had a hand in creating it. Divorce litigation is expensive and time-consuming, too, because you have to pay your attorney for her work on the case and wait for a time and date to open up on the court’s schedule.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some cases in which it’s best to let the judge decide. In fact, there are some cases in which there’s no other option – such as when your ex won’t come to the table to negotiate or you were dealing with a domestic violence situation and negotiation is not in your best interest.
#2. Start negotiations early.
The sooner you begin negotiating with your spouse, the better. You’ll have more time to reach fair settlements – including agreements on child custody and visitation – and you’ll be able to get your kids into a routine sooner, too.
When you’re both upfront about what you want from your divorce, you can work together to negotiate a fair settlement. Ask your spouse what he or she expects to keep, what type of custody arrangement he or she would like to work out, and whether there are any special considerations in your divorce. Then, use what you learn to negotiate for the things you want. Remember to choose your battles, too – you don’t want to fight over things that you don’t even want (although some people do fight just for the sake of fighting).
#3. Get – and stay – organized.
Gather all your important documents, including:
- Kids’ birth certificates
- Social Security cards
- Travel documents
- Citizenship paperwork, if applicable
- Financial statements
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- Kids’ school records
- Other records that you may need at any point during your divorce
Having everything you need in one central location is essential. That way, if you have to enroll your kids in a new school, your attorney needs to see retirement account statements, or you want to show how much money you bring in on a monthly basis for alimony or child support purposes, you’ll have paperwork at your fingertips.
Related: Divorce mediation checklist
Do You Need to Talk to a Stockton Divorce Lawyer?
Whether you’re considering divorce, you’re ready to file, or your spouse has already filed, we may be able to help you.
Call us right away at (209) 546-6870 or get in touch with a Stockton divorce attorney online to schedule a consultation today.