No matter whether you are going through a divorce or a separation from a partner with or without children, it is a difficult time both financially and emotionally.
Here are several hints to make the situation easier and less expensive.
1. Know that this is a temporary situation and that things will get better.
2. Get support. Whether this means family and friends or professional support with a counselor or therapist.
3. Stay off social media! No one else needs to know your business. What you say and how you say it can be used against you later. If you need to vent, speak directly to your support system.
4. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the attorney you choose. Even if you just have a consultation to ask questions and do not hire an attorney for the entire case, it is important that you know your rights and options and feel comfortable.
5. When you do hire an attorney and have questions, make a list and try to get all of your questions asked and answered in one call or email. This makes the contact cheaper for you.
6. Pull together your financial information and make sure that you understand the questions that are being asked of you when you complete discovery or questionnaires. This also will save you time, which translates into saving money.
7. Keep your kids out of it! This is a stressful time for them as well and they just want to make sure that things will eventually be ok. Do not let them read documents. Do not speak badly about the other parent. Do check in with them and remind them that they are loved.
8. One thing at a time. Don’t make other large life changes right away unless you have to do so. Your finances and emotions need time to settle before you make decisions such as changing jobs, moving to a different town or entering into a new relationship.
9. If you do have children with your ex-partner, begin to treat contact with them as a business relationship. The two of you have a “product” that you are jointly putting out into the world. If you would not speak in that manner to your boss or a co-worker, don’t speak that way to your ex-partner. Keep your communication (a) short, (b) factual, (c) civil, and (d) only about the children. Keep emotion out of it. Remember that you do not have to accept the invitation to fight and there is no longer any reason to defend yourself to your ex-partner.
10. Finally, LISTEN TO YOUR ATTORNEY. You will have many people give you unsolicited advice and they will want to tell you about their situation or a situation they know about. If you have questions or are not sure if you should take a certain action, SPEAK TO YOUR ATTORNEY FIRST. It is easier for your attorney to keep you out of trouble rather than get you out of trouble.