Dos and don’ts: your guide to coping with divorce

Getting a divorce can be an incredibly stressful experience and because of the emotional strain it places on you, it’s easy to make a whole range of mistakes during a marital breakup. If you’re currently in the process of separating from your spouse and you want to avoid these problems, keep reading. Here are some important dos and don’ts when you’re going through this tough time.

 DO get legal advice
Even if you are separating from your partner on amicable terms, it’s advisable to seek legal advice. Divorce is a complex process and it’s important that you take steps to protect your interests. You will need to consider a wide range of practical issues, including the division of your money, property and possessions and your living arrangements. If you have kids together, you’ll also need to think about their custody and care. By making sure you consult a divorce solicitor in the early stages of your separation, you can avoid making mistakes that you later come to regret.

DON’T try to hide property or possessions
Some people attempt to hide property or possessions from their partners and the courts during the divorce process, believing this will help them to get a more favourable settlement. However, if either partner attempts to mislead the court in this way, they are likely to be penalised. This means it’s imperative that you provide the details on all your property and possessions from the outset.

DO consider mediation
To minimise the cost and stress associated with divorce, it’s worth considering the option of mediation. This involves both you and your partner meeting a specially trained, independent mediator either together or separately to help you reach an agreement over things like childcare, property and money. At the end of the process, the mediator will draw up a document detailing the arrangement. You may then want to turn this into a legally binding agreement. Mediation can be less traumatic than going to court and it is quicker and cheaper.

DON’T make your children choose sides
Children are often the worst affected parties in divorces, particularly if parents argue in front of them. The worst thing you can do if you have kids with your spouse is to drag them into the dispute and make them choose sides. This can make them feel guilty and it can do irreparable harm to their relationship with both you and your partner. Even if you’re struggling to cope yourself, make sure you put your children’s needs first at all times.

Going through a divorce is never easy, but if you follow advice like this, you can at least avoid some of the most common mistakes that separating couples make.
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