What you should know about getting divorced

Divorce is different for everyone. Just like your marriage was different from your best friend’s, your divorce will be different. Divorce is messy and emotional and hard. Unfortunately, sometimes, it’s the only answer to a very unhappy marriage. If you find yourself on the path to divorce, setting expectations can help reduce some of the anxiety.

Whether you’ve chosen to get divorced or your spouse has made the decision and you’re not necessarily on board if your divorce is inevitable, here are some things you should know:

  1. Your divorce process may look like a lot like your marriage. If you and your spouse fought like cats and dogs, don’t expect a peaceful Mediation. If you never communicated during your marriage, you’re not likely to reveal your innermost requests during the divorce process very easily.
  2. Things will never be equal. Whether you live in a Community Property State where assets are divided ‘equally’ or a Common Law State where assets are divided ‘equitably’, nothing will be equal. It’s impossible to divvy up assets equally. Just determining what is marital and what isn’t will be an issue of contention. The kids will never spend exactly 50% of their time with you and you’ll never both have equal incomes regardless of what your support ends up being.
  3. Divorce goes as slow as the slowest person. This is sometimes the hardest reality to face. You may be ready with all your documents, have your legal team ready to go, know exactly what ‘makes sense’ and be sure that it’s just a matter of dotting I’s and crossing T’s. Well, your spouse may have other ideas, or the courts may be inundated, or your lawyer had a medical emergency and your kids got sick. And so it goes. Assume it will take around two years to get divorced in the best of cases, maybe one if you mediate amicably.
  4. Your lawyer represents you on issues of the law, that’s it. You may be lucky enough to get a very compassionate attorney who really cares about what you’re feeling, that doesn’t mean they are trained as your therapist. Your lawyer is the best person to represent you and make sure you get what you are entitled to under the law, he or she is not the person you want to be crying to at $600 plus an hour. That’s some very expensive Kleenex! Hire a Therapist or a Divorce Coach.
  5. Divorce is never satisfying. No one plans their life around a divorce. The fairytale wedding, the perfect partner, the happy family, that dream you had? It’s all changed. Regardless of how reasonable and amicable the divorce was, no matter how great you both co-parent, or how financially stable you find yourselves, there will always be something that didn’t go the way you thought it would.

We all wish we could have a Conscious Uncoupling just like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, the reality is very different. If you’re trying to figure out how to approach your divorce so that you have a good chance for a better divorce, start with pre-divorce planning. Schedule a Clarity Session and we can put your Divorce Action Plan in place.