Very few people have said divorce is easy, a piece of cake. But it can be easier than you think. After handling countless divorce filings on behalf of our clients, we have provided a list of six lessons that every divorcing couple needs to learn.
1. No marriage is perfect.
There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Even if a marriage looks “perfect” on the outside, even if a couple earns six figures and has movie star good looks, they still have their own issues behind closed doors. Everybody’s marriage is vulnerable and prone to cracking under the pressures of everyday life – kids, work, relatives, illness, disability, money problems and infidelity.
It’s what you’re feeling on the inside that counts. If your marriage appears “perfect” to everybody on the outside, but you feel terrible on the inside, listen to your feelings. Don’t let other people make assumptions about the health of your relationship with your spouse.
2. Second and third marriages are at a higher risk.
According to the American Psychological Association, “about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.” When people get divorced, they can idealize their new partner while ignoring the obvious red flags, which can make for a rocky start in a second marriage. If a divorcée fails to resolve the problems that occurred in their first marriage, they will likely reappear in the second marriage – causing old issues to resurface with equal force.
3. Keep the details of your divorce quiet.
If you get a divorce, take steps to keep the details quiet. You may not be getting media attention like Brangelina, but from neighbors to coworkers to distant relatives – there will be no shortage of people trying to dig up information (or dirt). Don’t air your divorce on social media and with your spouse, create a short statement about the split: “We are getting a divorce and we appreciate your respect for our privacy during this difficult time.” You may be pressed, but don’t provide more details.
4. Hire a good divorce attorney.
A good divorce lawyer will be concerned for your well-being, driving the costs down and keeping your case out of court. Such an attorney will help you achieve an amicable, no-fault divorce which will provide you with a fair and reasonablesettlement, not a deep hole in your wallet.
5. Shield your children from conflict.
Please, shield your children from parental conflict. Even if they are teenagers, they don’t need to know the reasons behind your split. Reassure your kids that you love them and don’t let their childhood be robbed – spare them the unnecessary details.
6. Accept your co-parenting journey.
If you have children together, your relationship is far from over. You must accept the fact that you have a long co-parenting journey ahead. The best way to make this work is to embrace co-parenting and to put the children’s need above yours. This is going to take a healthy dose of flexibility, mutual respect and compromise. If you feel like you need help in this department, you and your former spouse can get therapy together to help you both evolve in your new role as co-parents.