If you are getting a divorce for the first time, there is a strong likelihood that you are anxious or nervous about the whole process. You may also be worried about what the future will bring. After all, while you were married, you probably felt comfortable about the direction your life was heading and now, the future is wide open.
If you are considering divorce, there a number of things you can do to prepare yourself before “starting” the divorce process:
- Become Knowledgeable
There are a lot of laws regarding divorce, asset division, debt division, child support, and alimony in New Hampshire. So, your first job will be to become knowledgeable in them. You can start by educating yourself online, but you have to be careful about what websites you use for information.
Generally, if it’s a reputable source, it comes from a government website. Many websites will provide general advice, or cite to laws that aren’t in your state. It’s important to remember that neighboring states likely have very different laws and standards than New Hampshire.
The next thing you want to do after doing some research, is hire a qualified divorce attorney. They will be able to guide you through the legal trappings and help confirm or correct information you may have already gathered.
- Have Realistic Expectations
It’s very important that you have realistic expectations during the divorce process. The law is the law. The procedures are the procedures. You can’t change that.
What you can change is the way you react to them. For example, if you built a successful business after the marriage and you do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you can’t expect your spouse to receive no part of the business, or no compensation for their portion of it.
Even if your spouse had nothing to do with the business you built, he or she is still might be entitled to half because the business is marital property. Of course, there are alternatives. You may be able to exchange a different asset for your spouse’s share of the business, or you may be able to buy them out, but the moral of the story is you have to be realistic. Just because the business is “your baby,” it doesn’t mean your spouse has no right to it.
- Understand Each Divorce is Unique
You probably know quite a few people who have been through divorce. Even if some of those people had similar situations, it’s important to understand that your divorce is unique and the outcome will probably be quite different. Why? Because, each divorce is unique in itself and no two divorces are identical. Surely, your marital situation, assets, debts, and importantly your partner, are unlike any other marriage. In addition, you may be in a different state, court, or be in front of a different judge. You cannot expect to have the same outcome as someone you know – it’s just not realistic.
- Control Your Mindset
Want to achieve a positive divorce that you feel good about? Control your mindset. People don’t realize it, but when they go into their divorces unhappy, never satisfied, and unwilling to negotiate, they are almost always dissatisfied with the outcome. You have more control over your divorce than you think. The idea is to remove the emotions and treat your divorce like a business transaction.
If you can choose to be calm, respectful, and polite and negotiate with the goal of reaching a fair and reasonable settlement you can both be walk away satisfied in the outcome.
- Be a Problem Solver
In life, you’ve had to put out fires and solve problem after problem. As you approach your divorce, consider your spouse’s personality, your own ability to handle stress, your ability to solve problems, and your willingness to listen to your divorce attorney’s advice.
Remember, you can’t change New Hampshire’s divorce laws and procedures, but you can control how you react to them. Instead of creating problems in your divorce case, be a problem solver. While it can be difficult at times, take some time to think analytically and logically.
- Don’t Be Unreasonable
Armed with the knowledge of the law and your lawyer’s advice, try to be reasonable. If you refuse to budge on something and it doesn’t make sense, there’s a higher likelihood that a judge will have to decide and that delays your divorce and adds to the costs. Further, if you’re being unreasonable, the judge could make a decision that you disagree with anyway. If you are unreasonable throughout your divorce, you’ll probably be unhappy about your divorce no matter what the result is.
Contact Parnell, Michels & McKay:
Our law practice covers every area of family law and includes all divorce and post-divorce issues, unwed parenting and property issues, domestic violence, adoption, guardianships and other family issues. Our family lawyers ensure that our clients understand the law as it applies to the issues they are facing. We are sensitive to the relationship changing between couples and work to bring the issues to a conclusion promptly and fairly with sensitivity and compassion. Contact our office today and we will help you with move forward with your legal separation, divorce and post-divorce issues.