5 Tips For Surviving A Nasty Divorce
Divorce lawyers frequently use the word “contentious” to describe difficult divorce cases. It’s a helpful term, but it doesn’t always convey just how unpleasant, petty, and vehement spouses can be towards each other.
Some divorces are just mean, nasty, and all-around grueling affairs for everyone involved. Few things are as unpleasant as an ex-spouse on the warpath, and if you’re in the crosshairs, survival is not guaranteed.
We’ve seen plenty of nasty divorce cases ourselves, and we have some tips for how to survive one if you find yourself in such a situation.
1) Find A Support System
Going through a nasty divorce is excruciating no matter what, but it’s an order of magnitude more difficult if you have to suffer through it alone. If possible, make sure you have a solid, reliable support network of close friends and/or family who will support you no matter what.
It is not uncommon for spouses to lie about and besmirch one another during their divorce. You need people around you who won’t pay attention to negative comments and stories.
2) Remember That There Is No “Winner”
It’s easy to fall into the ideological trap that your divorce is a form of combat in which there is a winner and a loser. No one wins a divorce, ever. Instead, try and keep in mind that your divorce is meant to be a process of give and take. Two lives that were joined are now split in a way that is equitable and fair.
If you can keep that in mind, you’re far more likely to come out of a nasty divorce with a healthier outlook. If you focus too hard on trying to “win,” your divorce will likely take much longer to complete, and you’ll never be completely satisfied.
3) Whenever Possible, Take The High Road
Taking the high road during your divorce is far easier said than done, but it’s important all the same. It’s common for spouses to try and bait each other into arguments or admissions in order to try and damage each other’s cases.
Holding your tongue is especially tricky because you both know each other’s emotional triggers and weaknesses. If you can resist, however, all the mean comments, insults, and threats your ex hurls at you can be shown to the judge as evidence to help your case.
4) Be Realistic About Child Custody
Just because your ex is being a jerk during your divorce doesn’t make them an unfit parent. Prepare yourself for the prospect of sharing custody with your ex and understand that it will likely never be an easy or pleasant experience.
The best thing to do in this situation is to create a detailed parenting plan as part of your divorce settlement. Address any issues that may come up, such as who pays for medical expenses, saving for college, how holidays and vacations are handled, religious expectations, etc.
Having a detailed parenting plan can minimize the need for discussion, interaction, and arguments with your ex about your children.
5) Focus On The Outcome
Always keep in mind that the purpose of your divorce is to end your marriage. It’s not about who gets what, what he or she said or did, or what your friends and family will think. Focus on the outcome of the divorce process, rather than the process itself.
Never be afraid to talk to your attorney or ask him or her questions. A good attorney will guide you through each step of the process and make sure you’re aware of and understand everything that’s happening. Their job is to get you across the finish line, and they’ll do everything they can to help, but only as much as you’re willing to accept it.
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