10 Do’s and Don’ts of Divorce

Posted by Brooke M.
dos and donts of divorce

Tips to Minimize the Impact of Divorce

The decision to divorce usually isn’t a pleasant one, but there are ways to keep your dignity and create a path for future happiness during the process.  As high profile divorce attorney Laura Wasser says of the divorce process:  “it is very important to remember three key things: Be kind, be reasonable, be brief. Remember that this person will no longer be your spouse, but he or she will continue to be your co-parent, family member, and perhaps business partner in certain assets or entities.”

There are key ways to minimize negative impact of divorce on you and your family which really boil down to each party respecting the other.  Here, our team has compiled ways to facilitate a divorce as quickly and with little stress as possible.

Do’s of Divorce

  1. Do let go of blame. Blame is the enemy of “moving on”.  It will only lead to continued animosity between spouses. Unless you are dealing with a fault-based divorce, there should not be a reason to hold on to blame during the divorce process, and certainly not for longer than the divorce process itself.  Blame ends up only hurting the person carrying it.
  2. Do forgive. Do it for yourself!  Holding a grudge can be a huge burden on your shoulders and it also hinders your ability to start the healing process. It is important to open your heart up to forgiveness so that you can move forward with the next chapter of your life, so even if you don’t understand your ex’s acts or motivations, forgiveness can help you heal emotionally.
  3. Do keep conversations with children positive. Your kids will go through many emotions when they learn about your separation and divorce. This is natural, so be sure to keep the ugly details out of the conversation. By showing your children that you are able to set aside negative feelings for their benefit, you are teaching them a valuable lesson in forgiveness and moving on.
  4. Do clean out your closet. Out with the old and in with the new!  Think of this as a spring cleaning for your mind by ridding yourself of the past and preparing a clean slate for the future. It is important to remove your former spouse’s personal possessions so you don’t happen upon them and trigger bad memories of your divorce.
  5. Do understand the divorce process.  The divorce process involves the law, which means it can be complicated!  It’s important to understand what documents are needed for your locale, as well as what types of information you’ll need to gather. There are local and online divorce services like CompleteCase.com that can provide the guidance and support to help you determine your best course of action. You may even qualify to complete your divorce without an attorney which can save you time, headache and money.

Don’ts of Divorce

  1. Don’t lose your cool. During a divorce, tensions run high so it is important for you to refrain from saying things that can be taken out of context or used against you. A contested divorce (one where there are disagreements that must be settled by a court) costs a lot more money than an uncontested divorce, so do your best to keep the peace.
  2. Don’t flaunt your new relationship. Many people move into a new relationship before their divorce is final.  Due to the high level of emotions involved in divorce, though, it makes the most sense to keep your relationship private. Be mindful that your soon-to-be former spouse is human and has feelings too.
  3. Don’t refuse communication. Unless your spouse was abusive to you or your kids, there is little reason to refuse communication with them. It is important to keep an open line of communication and be civil for the sake of your children’s well-being and/or a satisfactory conclusion to the marriage.
  4. Don’t hide money. This includes property and other assets.  If you try to hide anything from your spouse and it is revealed, you could be viewed in contempt of court.  At the very least, you will not look good in front of a judge, who ultimately determines the terms of a contested divorce.
  5. Don’t post it on social media. Not only is this “fuel for the fire” but it can actually be used against you in court. Although making threats, derogatory statements or defacing your spouse anywhere online might feel like a good idea at the time, keep in mind anything you put online is there forever. Save your venting for personal conversations with the ones you can trust and not for all your Facebook friends or other followers.  You can share this post, just don’t air your dirty laundry with it!

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  1. I have a friend whose husband just left her for another woman right before Christmas. It’s heartbreaking to watch her go through such a difficult time, but it seems she is unknowingly following all of the “Do’s” on this list. I think the hardest part of it all for her is to forgive her soon to be ex-husband. However, she knows she has to in order to truly move on, so I’d say that’s a good start.