You might think that winning a divorce trial is impossible because you feel so hurt or even anguished about it. While divorce does indeed have its sad aspects, there are five ways to end your marriage and feel good about the way things have been settled. You do have the power to set the tone of how things play out by calmly figuring out what you want, being willing to negotiate, and getting the professional help you need for the various aspects of your divorce.
1. Get the Assets You Really Want
Take some time to figure out what assets you really need for practical and positive reasons by visualizing how you would use it later. Make an asset list and rate items in terms of personal desirability. This will help you be clear when you discuss matters with your lawyer.
Don't demand something just because you know your soon-to-be ex would want it, although it could be be fruitful to think about what they would want most. This could give you some bargaining power. For example, say you want to keep the house and your ex wants to keep 100% of her/his IRA account: you might give up the rights to that in order to keep the house.
2. Arrange for Debts to be Paid
You should also make an accurate accounting of what debts are owed and who should be responsible for them. To make sure you don't miss anything, it would wise to get both of your credit reports and go over them.
If there is an asset that the ex desires to keep that still has debt connected with it, insist that they refinance it only in their name. Once the item is refinanced, only then should you remove your name from its title. Another wise thing to do is to have an indemnity clause in the final divorce agreement that states you could recoup any losses in court if a debt is not paid and you are forced to pay it to keep a good credit rating.
You could also agree to sell some assets to pay off and clear away debts so that you can emerge from divorce unencumbered.
3. Come Up with A Custody Arrangement that Everyone Can Live With
Shared custody can be arranged in any manner of ways for the best interests of your children and to suit your new lifestyles. If you have been the main caretaker of infants or preschoolers or have been away from the workforce for some time, you will be relieved to know that even in a shared arrangement, the parent that has the greater income will have a larger responsibility to provide support so you can still expect to receive some monetary assistance from them.
Since with custody comes important decision making power, if you have a hard time agreeing with your ex or you want limited contact with them, you could agree to divide up the decisions on education, schooling, medical treatment and other matters.
4. Walk Away without Bitterness
If you have serious emotional issues with the breakup of your marriage, it is important to come to terms with it and begin the road to healing. You need to discover reasons for feeling optimistic about your future, and this will help you get through some difficult times in the present.
In this endeavor, you would do well to seek counseling. If possible, some family counseling with your ex present could help to clear the air and come up with solutions for sticking points and unresolved issues. It would help the children to be able to talk honestly about their feelings and fears in a safe environment.
5. Get Legal Assistance to Protect Your Interests
A divorce attorney can give you practical legal advice to make sure your rights are protected in divorce and help you to achieve your material and custodial objectives with regard to your state's laws. You should see one early in the process to even the playing field and to avoid any mistakes that could prove to be costly.
By following these five steps, you will feel in control of the situation and will have some peace of mind as you start a new chapter in your life.