Divorce Steps

Aug 8, 2012 by

Making the decision to get a divorce is never easy and there are often many obstacles to overcome along the way. Before you file for divorce you might think about setting some basic goals as to what outcome you want from the situation. Consider all your options when choosing how you file, whether or not you will need an attorney and whether or not you will try mediation, a marriage counselor or other divorce-related professional services before you start drawing up any legal documents. If you know where you want to end up after it is all over, it will be easier to choose your course of action as you go along.

A divorce is usually caused by one or more specific problem areas of a marital relationship or family situation that occur leading up to a divorce. One of the most recognizable sources of marital discord leading to a divorce or separation is the presence of children or other relatives in the home like in-laws, step-children and grandparents, who can all be sources of relationship problems that can grow worse over time. Sexual problems in a marriage are also a big cause of divorce, and any problems with attraction, frequency and quality can quickly cause a marriage to go downhill. Obviously, in the current weakened economy in the United States, financial problems can be a source of stress and disagreement, and will usually have a big effect on the quality of a marriage.
One thing that can negatively affect any aspect of a married relationship is when unrealistic expectations are placed on either spouse for any number of reasons. Unmet expectations can cause ongoing dissatisfaction that only gets worse over time.

If relationship problems are not addressed quickly, the probability of divorce will only increase with the passage of time. However, when a divorce becomes inevitable, there are a few options to minimize the time in court and work out agreements outside of the courtroom. Divorce options like mediation or collaborative law can foster compromise and reduce some of the hassles and costs of a divorce too. It also may be possible to reduce the legal costs of a divorce by working with financial counselors and marriage therapists outside of the work divorce lawyers perform. If a divorce is complicated and is expected to take a long time to complete, you might want to consider setting up a temporary financial agreement to handle interim money issues.

When divorcing spouses can’t see eye to eye and a divorce becomes a bitterly contested battle, it can bring out the worst in both spouses and you never know what might result. When faced with an imminent and hostile break-up, there are a few things you can do to protect your own interests by putting your legal affairs into order before the case gets to court. Obviously, you will need to close all joint financial accounts and obtain a current credit report to help ensure your credit isn’t destroyed during the divorce. Be sure to request that any remaining creditors notify you if a payment is not received on time or your accounts show any other signs of irregular activities.

One of the main things you can do to make the divorce process and the eventual transition to single life easier is to maintain your cool and move from feeling-based decision making toward rational, objective decision making. Don’t make unreasonable demands on your spouse or on yourself and don’t overreact to the emotional issues that might tend to make you angry. Learn to measure your responses and don’t deny your feelings. Divorce is never a trivial issue and utilizing all the resources you have at your disposal will yield the best results. Try not to make sudden, life-changing decisions while you are in the process of getting divorced. Instead, take control of your daily life because a clear and repeatable routine will allow you to deal with the stress of divorce far more effectively. Getting a divorce always results in many changes, but life will usually return to a more normal state when it is all over.


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