One of the first steps in your divorce journey, is to obtain legal advice on your and your spouse’s legal rights. Both of you have rights. Keep this advice in mind in your divorce preparation.
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It is however important NOT to instruct an attorney to issue divorce papers until you fully understand both of your legal rights, the different divorce processes available and you have dealt with the Divorce Hotspots. I deal with those in a future Divorce By Design blog.
Attorneys are not trained to discern the emotional state of their clients; their role is to follow instructions. When your instructions are to fight, they will fight. If your instructions are that you want to walk away with nothing, they may advise you against this, but ultimately, they will follow your instructions. If you let your anger, hatred, resentment or fear of conflict speak for you, you will come off second best. This is the journey of the ego.
The second step in your divorce preparation is to deal with your hurts and emotions before you instruct attorneys to issue papers, or before you enter the mediation process.
Don’t be derailed by your emotions during the process. Have your professional support in place during the process. The divorce process can be an ugly battleground, or it can be a fair negotiation. It is possible to choose to grow through the process rather than allow it to be destructive to both of you and mostly to your children. It is not the divorce that impacts the children, it is the conflict.
Remember, if each of you is determined to fight for your rights, whose rights will take precedence? The fight will just cost you hundreds of thousands of rands if not millions.