5 Things Your Divorce Lawyer Wants You to Know
Researchers estimate that half of first marriages in the United States will end in divorce. Divorce is a common, yet emotionally and logistically complicated affair. Everyone's experience differs but there are a few things that couples should expect while going through the divorce process. While divorce lawyers are meant to act as mediators and educators, there are ways for soon-to-be-exes to prepare themselves for the upcoming challenges.
- The court system is much different than what you see on TV
Court TV has most people convinced legal proceedings are interesting and short-lived. Here's what all divorce lawyers will tell you: the cold, hard truth is that some divorces can last months or even a year. The court system can lag on for what feels like an eternity and can be emotionally devastating. You and your partner should prepare for proceedings to be drawn out for months and try to find a common ground to handle it.
- You will feel like you drew the short straw
Most marriages end at the demand of one spouse rather than both. This can leave one spouse feeling shocked at the revelation while the one who asks for a divorce can feel like they're being held hostage by an unhappy marriage. Some spouses ask their divorce attorneys to employ tactics to slow down the process in hopes that the marriage will resolve itself, while others will do just about anything to get out. Whether you're the one asking for or the one fighting against divorce, you will both feel at a disadvantage.
- Divorce isn't solely about dividing assets and custody
Being handed divorce papers isn't just the beginning of a new life. It's also the end of an old one. The average divorce comes on the tail of a 9-year marriage. That's almost a decade of building a life with a partner, only to have to overhaul everything you've come to know. When there's kids involved, it becomes even trickier. Keep in mind that things aren't only changing for the spouses; children have to watch the two people they love most part ways forever. If you have children, be sure to check in with them to gauge how they're feeling.
- You may harbor some resentment or bitterness, just don't flaunt it
Ending a marriage isn't something to be taken lightly but it's also not a reason to air out dirty laundry. Allowing yourself to exhibit your dislike of your ex-spouse can lead you to an unhealthy place, especially when there's children involved. While keeping your feelings bottled up isn't the answer, you're better off venting to a therapist than your teenage son or daughter. Let your attorney handle the arguing. That's what divorce lawyers are for.
- Expect a sense of failure
You may feel like a failure of a parent and/or spouse. This is normal, but shouldn't overwhelm your sense of being. Find solace in the fact that there is a divorce every 36 seconds in the United States. That means that there are 2,400 people going through the same exact thing you are on any given day. You WILL make mistakes but that doesn't mean you're a failure. The most you can do is your best.