Looking to have a successful divorce process? It’s going to take more than luck.
St. Patrick’s day is here and the luck of the Irish is abound with 4 leaf clovers, shades of green, and the hope of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. For many, not just the Irish, the month of March is considered one of the luckier months. But, having a successful divorce process involves more than just luck. It takes work, planning, preparation, mindset, and of course, avoiding the 5 Biggest and Most Common Mistakes in Divorce:
MISTAKE #1- GETTING STUCK IN YOUR POSITION
It is important to understand that in divorce, there will be some form of negotiation and concession by both spouses. It took two people to get married and it will take two people to get divorced. Neither party is going to get everything they want in their divorce settlement agreement. One of the biggest mistakes people make is inheriting the “my way or the highway” mentality. This line of thinking prevents engagement in flexible thinking and may lead to a litigated process costing vast amounts of money, time, and stress. Positional thinking prevents one party from hearing or understanding where the other party is coming from. When one party is entrenched in positional thinking, they see the other parties’ position as completely wrong, misguided, and sometimes downright evil. This black and white thinking keeps people stuck with the inability to take the steps necessary to move forward.
MISTAKE #2- USING THE COURT PROCESS TO SEEK EMOTIONAL JUSTICE
When one party uses the court system to seek retribution or a sense of fairness in their divorce in an effort to right perceived wrongs and or punish the other party, they are seeking emotional justice. The problem with emotional justice is that the courts are concerned with the laws of divorce, not the emotion of it. Divorce court is not intended to be a punitive process but a process based on state laws and statutes regarding property division, asset, and debt distribution, and custody and visitation when minor children are involved. In fact, the majority of states are considered “no-fault states” where the court has no role in determining fault for the breakdown of the marriage.
MISTAKE #3 TURNING OVER YOUR DECISION-MAKING POWER TO SOMEONE ELSE
Major decisions occur when one is informed, clear-headed, and not pressured. Decision-making during divorce rarely feels this way. As such, parties involved in the divorce process may be eager to give their decision-making power away to someone else. This delegation of power is often a result of the many fears and unknowns encountered in divorce. And fear can be the most expensive thing in divorce.
With so many decisions to be made, it may feel easier to let someone else tell us what we should do. This is especially true when experts are hired and relied upon, such as an attorney or financial advisor. The reality though is that those experts serve in the role as advisors. An attorney is there to advise you legally. A financial planner is there to advise you financially. And, at the end of your divorce process, these advisors will no longer be around. Decisions that were made on your behalf without your involvement may leave you feeling more regretful, angry, and confused. When the dust settles, you will be living with those decisions.
It is your life. You are the decision-maker.
By getting the information you need, you will be better able to engage in decision-making that is reflective of what’s best for you and your family. At the end of your process, each decision made by YOU, will help build the foundation of your new life and future.
MISTAKE #4 FALLING INTO THE EXPECTATION VORTEX
For the most part, everyone knows someone who has been divorced. Expectations inherited about the divorce process are often learned from our friends and or family’s experiences. The problem with having these expectations of the divorce process is that they often distort one’s perception of reality and keep them from taking the appropriate action. Expectations make us see what we want to see rather than what’s really there. Part of managing a divorce process begins with managing one’s expectations. People who engage in expecting the worst in their divorce think that it will be a disaster no matter what. People who expect the best think that everything will go their way. Neither expectation will serve well in divorce and in fact, these expectations will build the foundation for high levels of disappointment. The first step in managing expectations is to recognize that they exist and then understand how these expectations show up in your own divorce process.
MISTAKE #5 DOING DIVORCE ALONE
Divorce may seem like the most isolating activity you have ever been involved in. Not wanting to burden others with your pain, grief, fear, anxiety, one may feel the need to shut themselves off from others. But no one should have to do their divorce alone. It is human to want and need the support of others through difficult times whether that be a gracious smile and hug or an encouraging statement reminding you that “you've got this”. At The Split Society, we are committed to ensuring that you are not alone in your divorce process. Our private Facebook group members have access to the emotional support they need through helpful webinars, a community of individuals going through similar processes, access to weekly support groups, and the information needed to be an active decision-maker in their divorce process. Do something for yourself and get control of your divorce. It's not too late to get the help you need. Join us!