If you are getting a divorce for the first time, there is a strong likelihood that you are anxious or nervous about the whole process. You may also be worried about what the future will bring. After all, while you were married, you probably felt comfortable about the direction your life was heading and now, the future is wide open.
As you head toward divorce, you will have several important roles to play, and you will have certain responsibilities throughout the divorce process, but what are they? Read on as we dive into the details of your roles and responsibilities during divorce.
1. Become Knowledgeable
There are a lot of laws regarding divorce, asset division, debt division, child custody, child support, and spousal support in California. So, your first job will be to become knowledgeable in them. You can start by educating yourself online, but you have to be careful about what websites you use for information. Generally, if it’s a reputable source, it comes from a government website. The next thing you want to do after doing some research, is hire a qualified divorce attorney.
2. Have Realistic Expectations
It’s very important that you have realistic expectations during the divorce process. The law is the law. The procedures are the procedures, and you can’t change that. What you can change is the way you react to them. For example, if you built a successful business after the marriage and you do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you can’t expect your spouse to receive no part of the business, or no compensation for their portion of it.
Even if your spouse had nothing to do with the business you built, he or she is still entitled to half because the business is community property. Of course, there are alternatives. You may be able to exchange a different asset for your spouse’s share of the business, or you may be able to buy them out, but the moral of the story is you have to be realistic. Just because the business is “your baby,” it doesn’t mean your spouse has no right to it.
3. Understand Each Divorce is Unique
You probably know quite a few people who have been through divorce. Even if some of those people had similar situations, it’s important to understand that your divorce is unique and the outcome will probably be quite different. Why? Because, each divorce is unique in itself and no two divorces are identical. Surely, your marital situation, assets, and debts, are unlike any other marriage. You cannot expect to have the same outcome as someone you know – it’s just not realistic.
4. Control Your Mindset
Want to achieve a positive divorce that you feel good about? Control your mindset. People don’t realize it, but when they go into their divorces unhappy, never satisfied, and unwilling to negotiate, they are almost always dissatisfied with the outcome. You have more control over your divorce than you think. The idea is to remove the emotions and treat your divorce like a business transaction.
If you were conducting a business transaction, surely you wouldn’t be hostile, disrespectful, and arrogant, now would you? That would only lead to conflict and power struggles. Instead of letting any negative emotions get the best of you, decide to be calm, respectful, and polite and negotiate with the goal of reaching a fair and reasonable settlement you can both be satisfied with.
5. Be a Problem Solver
In life, you’ve had to put out fires and solve problem after problem. As you approach your divorce, consider your spouse’s personality, your own ability to handle stress, your ability to solve problems, and your willingness to listen to your divorce attorney’s advice.
Remember, you can’t change California’s divorce laws and procedures, but you can control how you react to them. Instead of creating problems in your divorce case, be a problem solver. Try to think analytically and logically, but of course to do this, you have to be educated in California’s divorce laws.
6. Don’t Be Unreasonable
Armed with the knowledge of the law and your lawyer’s advice, try to be reasonable. If you refuse to budge on something and it doesn’t make sense, there’s a higher likelihood that a judge will have to decide and that delays your divorce and adds to the costs. If you’re being unreasonable, the judge could make a decision that you disagree with anyway. If you are unreasonable throughout your divorce, you’ll probably be unhappy about your divorce no matter what the result is.
When someone is unreasonable, they cannot be pleased with the outcome of a divorce that aligns with the facts and California’s divorce laws. Unfortunately, there are lots of unreasonable people out there, but they cannot mold the law to suit them. In contrast, good people are honest, thoughtful, reasonable, objective, and they seek a reasonable outcome that is consistent with the facts of their case and California divorce law – these type of people are pleasures to represent.
A positive divorce experience starts with knowledge. We encourage you to research the divorce laws applicable to your case and read through our divorce blog and our website, however, our website does not constitute legal advice. To schedule a free case evaluation with a Los Angeles divorce attorney at our firm, contact us directly. We look forward to meeting you!