There is no question that divorce is stressful. In particular, proceeding with a divorce without a clear idea of what your objectives are is a sure way to end up with a costly divorce, both emotionally and financially. Here is divorce advice on things you should think about during a divorce:
Define Your Objectives. What do you want your divorce outcome to be?
You need to define your objectives. As you proceed to negotiate through your divorce, you will have a clear idea of the outcome you are striving for. To get started, I ask my clients to define their objectives in our first meeting together. I want you to focus on the road ahead of you and the possibility of a positive resolution. Oftentimes clients are only focused on their fears, which I compare to focusing on the “ditch” and not the road ahead of you. If you focus on the ditch, you are going to end up in the ditch.
Defining objectives is difficult if you are overrun with emotions and are not able to focus. You may feel that you are operating with brain fog and loss of concentration. We know from a brain science perspective, that when people experience deep emotion, it’s common for the survival part of the brain to take precedence over the logical and rational part of the brain. The survival part of the brain becomes active and the logical and rational part of the brain is less active. We experience cognitive impairment in the logical part of the brain.
Think about the Future: Imagine a Year After Your Divorce is Settled.
There are many ways to make the logical part of your brain work. One way is to use your imagination. One way is I ask my clients to imagine it’s a year from now and their divorce is settled, and when you look back on how you did it, you say to yourself, “My spouse and I did that well”. What are the values that you had that informed the negotiation to make it go well? What are your objectives? What would you hope for? Generally, I see a common theme in the objectives that clients layout. This includes:
- First, they want to ensure that the divorce does not negatively impact their children.
- They want to continue to be involved in the parenting of their children. At least as involved as they were before the separation.
- They want each other to come out of the divorce okay, both emotionally and financially. They may not love each other anymore or be able to live with each other, but they want each other to be okay when all is said and done.
- They do not want a long and drawn-out divorce.
With a collaborative law process, lawyers are trained in negotiating an agreement with the primary focus of meeting the client’s objectives. Additionally, providing client’s with the legal information that is relevant to their client’s specific case. This is different from our traditional adversarial training, where we are trained to primarily focus on an adversarial negotiation that is based on legal rights and entitlements. If you are interested in learning more about this approach, book a consultation.