While over a million couples get divorced in the U.S. every year, divorce isn't something that most people do twice. If you're a first timer with no experience, you're undoubtedly entering a maze.
Here are some tips that can help you achieve an emotionally and financially successful divorce.
# 1. Plan with the future in mind. Plan as if your spouse is planning too. Many people plan for divorce months, if not years before their spouse realizes that divorce is in the future.
Ask your attorney strategic questions, such as 1) how the length of marriage affects alimony, 2) if moving out affects child custody, 3) how changes in employment affect child support, 4) if remarriage affects alimony, 5) how to acquire a new debt with a soon to be ex, and 6) whether to sell or keep the house.
# 2. Be upfront with your attorney. It's important to be transparent with your lawyer, even if it's something embarrassing from your past. It's better to confront things head-on than to have your attorney caught by surprise.
# 3. Maintain your cool. Divorce can go two ways: it can make you a bitter person, or it can make you a better person – it's your choice. Maintain your cool, and resist the urge to say things that you're going to regret. Instead of acting irrationally, find constructive ways to reach a fair settlement.
California is a "no fault" divorce state, so the judge won't care if your spouse had an affair, or if they took your child to the movies on a school night. Keep your emotional venting out of the court room and save it for someplace private.
Take a hiatus from social media since everything you say and do, can and will be used against you. Don't forget that the best revenge is happiness.