5 Tips to Be Empowered During Divorce Litigation
Written by: Megan Dell
When a marriage breaks down and court orders become part of your life, you can feel a complete loss of control. Here are 5 tips to be empowered during divorce litigation:
1. Ask your attorney for feedback and accept it openly.
Divorce lawyers are often representing people who are facing the worst, most stressful time in their lives. People experiencing emotional upheaval often make bad decisions. Understanding the mistakes you made before hiring your attorney – and how you can avoid making similar ones in the future – can drastically improve the likelihood of accomplishing your goals.
So ask your attorney for feedback: how should that email to your ex have been worded instead? what could you have done differently to facilitate positive co-parenting? where did you veer off-course?
And most importantly, be open to the answers your attorney gives you. You are paying for their advice, and their job is to advise you on how to best reach your goals.
2. Focus on the future.
It is easy to fixate on the ways that you have been treated badly by your spouse. Some discussion of their wrongdoing with your divorce lawyer is appropriate but looking backward does not help you accomplish what you want for your future.
As much as possible, concentrate on your goals for the future and how they can be furthered by the litigation process. Doing so can completely change your outlook on the process.
3. Ask questions and understand your options.
Part of your divorce lawyer’s job is to educate you on the law, as well as the risks and benefits of each course of action. You are entitled to ask questions and seek understanding. Ensuring that you are informed of your options is an important part of moving forward.
4. Make decisions.
Once you understand your options, you have to make the decisions. It is up to you whether to accept a settlement offer. It is up to you whether to pursue a fault-based divorce or waive alimony or give up the majority of the marital estate. Yes, your divorce lawyer should give you advice, but you should be the one to make decisions.
Your divorce litigation is about your marriage, your family, your life, not your lawyer’s. Be prepared to make decisions in the furtherance of your goals.
5. Reframe your thinking.
No one gets married with a plan to get divorced, and it can be easy to viscerally respond to any proposal from your spouse with “No!” But doing so will often prevent you from gaining information about what motivates your spouse – that information can be used to negotiate ‘wins’ on the issues that mean the most to you.
If you can reframe your thinking about offers to see them as opportunities to gain leverage, your negotiations will be far more productive and cost-effective.
Are you feeling overwhelmed and out of control because of your case? Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys who can help you regain your footing and feel empowered during divorce litigation.