None of us even like to discuss divorce whether it’s about our family or anyone around us. It’s like the elephant in the room kind of thing. Unfortunately, some wonderful friends have gone through the toughest choices of their lives and have decided not to stay together. Through their experiences, I have seen that while we all know about certain things with divorce. There are a lot of little details that aren’t little at all. These components can cause an awful situation to spiral out of control.
Things to Keep in Mind Before You Discuss Divorce
Divorce is always a difficult time. AT the end of a relationship when you decide to part ways for good is never going to be the nicest experience. But along with the sadness it can bring, it can throw up a lot of worry and uncertainty too. Dealing with lawyers, filling in forms and going to court can leave you not knowing where to begin. But if you can, try to keep positive and most importantly stay informed. While this is the end of one chapter in your life you’re about to start a brand new one, you can put everything behind you and begin healing emotionally.
If you’ve thought about divorce or are just contemplating or the beginning stages I hope these things will help you to know where to start and prepare yourself or your loved one.
A Good Support Network is Crucial
Divorce is ranked second (after death) as one the most stressful life events you can go through, according to the Holmes and Rahe scale. Your emotions are likely to be very up and down throughout the process, so don’t try and do it alone. Having a good network of friends and family that you can rely on and be a shoulder to cry on if you need it can make all the difference. Don’t feel too embarrassed or afraid to ask for advice from your nearest and dearest. If you don’t feel as though you have this support available to you, seek the help of a therapist, a divorce advice helpline or joining a divorce support group.
Divorce Procedures Vary By State
In the US, divorce is under the jurisdiction of state governments. So while there will be similarities in procedures, each state will deal with it in a slightly different way. For example, New York, Iowa and Connecticut require you to have lived in the state for one year before you’re able to file divorce. It’s slightly less in some others states; Pennsylvania, Vermont and Texas for instance only require a residency of six months. However even those with the same residency period will still differ in the actual procedures. For example in Pennsylvania the court may order counselling or mediation sessions before the divorce can take place (unless there has been incidents of domestic violence) and in Texas you can’t file for divorce if the wife is pregnant. In Vermont, after the divorce is filed there is a minimum of three months wait before the court will sign the divorce decree. In the unfortunate event you need a divorce attorney they will able to guide you through the laws that are specific for your state.
If you and your ex partner have moved to different states since the split, you both have the right to file for divorce in your current home states. You may want to consider filing first in this case, that way it will all done in your own state and you won’t have to travel for the divorce proceedings. All of this was unheard of to me until my dear friends were faced with these very odd circumstances.
Divorce Is Expensive
Divorces can range anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Estimates on the average cost of a divorce in the U.S. range from $15,000 to $30,000. Handling some of the negotiating and paperwork on your own is the best way to bring the cost down, but it’s still likely to be a big expenditure so budget for this early on. Do your research before meeting with your lawyer, so the time spent with them is as productive as possible and you have chance to ask any questions you need without it running into unnecessary sessions.
I’m hoping you aren’t needing to discuss divorce with your spouse. If you are, remember seeking help and making sure you have the support of all around you. If you know someone going through this difficult time remind them to seek the guidance of a professional not only for their legal issues but also for their emotional health.
What would you suggest to anyone going through these tough times? What things have come up that have shocked you?