How the Right Divorce Advice Can Help You Avoid Painful Mistakes
Difficult and oftentimes traumatic, divorce is one of the most challenging hardships an individual can face. This process becomes even more complicated when children, finances, and assets are tied up in the conflict. Navigating these circumstances alone is simply too much for many couples, which is why DIY divorces don’t always pan out as expected. Getting the right divorce advice from your attorney not only smooths out the transition from married to unmarried, but it can help you avoid major financial mistakes too. Here, we will discuss the implications of divorce on the family unit and how partnering with professional attorneys can spare you much distress in the long run.
The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Both Parties
While those in the thick of divorce proceedings understand how painful the process is, outsiders often do not comprehend why it needs to be so hard. A woman divorcing her abusive husband, for example, may seem like a straightforward and clear-cut case, but there are real, human emotions involved that must be considered. An irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is a primary reason why couples file for divorce, and by the time the relationship has disintegrated to this point, it is often difficult to find any common ground anymore. Ideally, the couple would be able to work together towards a settlement that works for both parties, but this is not always the case. This is because heartache, betrayal, lack of trust, and miscommunication make working together towards a positive outcome exceptionally difficult.
Both parties are thus geared towards self-protection, and then there is still the grief of a lost relationship to process. The deep psychological distress the couple experiences stems not only form the loss of happier times and a solid foundation, but the implications of being without a spouse. In especially traditional cultures, being a wife or husband might give an individual a strong sense of meaning, identity, and purpose, and much community shame may be attached to the inability to make the marriage work. Then there is the knowledge that their spouse will no longer be around to fulfil certain roles within the home anymore, such as contributing financially, cooking, cleaning, and helping with the children. This is a heavy load, both mentally and physically, for any person to manage on their own. Under such stress, it is not uncommon for divorcing individuals to turn to other coping mechanisms in the form of substance abuse, eating disorders, and reckless behaviour.
How Divorce Affects Children
Unlike their parents, children are not always privy to all the details of why the divorce is occurring. Parents often strive to protect their children from the struggles within their marriage, and children are usually unprepared for news of the separation. For younger children, moving back and forth between two homes is confusing, and the instability in their parents’ relationship might make them feel insecure and unsafe. Older children may blame themselves for the separation, and wonder what it is they could have done to save the relationship. Teenagers, on the other hand, may project their anger and pain outwardly, becoming aggressive or rejecting and resenting one or both parents. These emotions could lead to children acting out or performing poorly in school, which further contributes to the stress of the process.
Why the Right Legal Advice is Vital
A messy, drawn-out divorce is what most people would prefer to avoid where possible, and this is sometimes only possible through professional legal counsel that will streamline the process and give the proceedings clear direction. This external guidance is useful, especially in cases where emotion gets the best of one or both parties. It also means that divorcing couples can avoid potential pitfalls when it comes to their finances, custody of the children, and even their lifestyle thanks to the objective, outsider’s perspective the attorney affords. Below are just a few of the facets of your proceedings upon which the right attorney will shed some light.
- Mediation and Uncontested Divorce
Due to the nature of divorce, many individuals seek revenge before resolution. The problem here is that while it might feel good to take retributive action against a former partner, it often drags out the proceedings and does not lead to an amicable outcome for either party or the children involved. While the process is often emotionally driven, your attorney can help you make distinctions between potential paths forward and which route is, ultimately, wiser. Not only is opting for mediation and an uncontested divorce far cheaper, but it is resolved in less time and often leads to the best results.
- Understanding your Finances
It is not unusual for one party to be kept in the dark about their former partner’s income, assets, and liabilities. During the accrual calculation, both parties are required to disclose all their assets, and it is essential that both parties fully understand what the other’s financial status entails. This will avoid issues such as one-sided settlements and one spouse defrauding a joint estate.
- Planning for Your Future Finances
It is not uncommon for the cost of divorce to leave both parties worse off when it comes to their finances. This is because shared household expenses suddenly become separate expenses, and the maintenance of children is costly too. Your attorney will advise you on compiling a realistic budget in order to help you financially survive your divorce and ensure that both parties are not done in by the other.
- Understanding Your Settlement Fully
Your divorce settlement is binding when it comes to the division of assets and liabilities. It is, therefore, essential that you understand precisely what you are signing and the implications thereof. The right attorney will not only answer all your questions concerning the legalities of the settlement but recommend alternatives that may suit you better.
Other aspects to be aware of include the tax implications of divorce, child maintenance, inter-country matters, and even parental alienation. With a professional attorney that takes your family’s specific situation into consideration, you will receive legal advice tailored to your needs. Here at Riëtte Oosthuizen Attorneys, not only do we understand how complex and unique each case is, but we treat all our clients with the utmost professional respect and compassion. We approach each case with sensitivity and tact, and navigate challenging issues quickly and efficiently. Let us partner with you to find the best way forward and help to carry your burden during this difficult time.