Ed Sherman, divorce specialist attorney and author of four do-your-own-divorce books, has helped over a million readers get better divorces.
With more than 30 years of experience and over one million books sold, Ed Sherman knows his stuff, and has some advice for couples going through the process.
Divorce doesn’t always have to be hard! Here are his quick tips for eight things you can do that will make your divorce easier.
1. Go slow
Don’t rush into divorce while feeling desperate, angry, or emotionally pressured. You have many important decisions to make, and they should be made calmly and clearly.
2. About that lawyer
It’s okay to use an attorney, but don’t retain one to take over your case. You should stay in control of your divorce and your life. Because lawyers are trained in an adversarial method of practicing law, if you let them take control, conflict is bound to escalate, making things worse.
3. Get involved
Take an active role in your divorce: educate yourself about the procedures, become informed about the rules, and make your own decisions. The more involved you become, the better the outcome.
4. Simplify the process
Keep it simple! If one spouse gets an attorney, the other one might, too. Two attorneys start off costing just double, but soon they are writing letters, filing motions and creating conflict, which means escalating costs.
Do as much as you can yourself and save on legal fees so you can send your own child to college — not some lawyer’s.
5. Stop fighting each other
Remember that fighting will not prevent a divorce, it will only make it more unpleasant and much more expensive.
Use proven techniques to calm yourself and settle things down so you can more easily and painlessly reach the agreements that you ultimately are going to make anyway.
6. Don’t fight personal problems with the law
Realize that most divorce problems are not legal problems, but rather are emotional and personal problems. Neither the law nor attorneys have solutions for these types of problems. Trying to use legal tools on personal problems only makes things worse — not better.
7. Look out for the kids
Understand that fighting parents frighten children — ask yourself if your anger justifies the hurt to your child.
Children learn from what you do, not what you say. By working to settle your differences and come to agreement, you teach your children that problems can be solved.
8. Divorce is more than a legal process
Consider that the real divorce is free. It’s about ending one life and beginning another, then making it work — spiritually, emotionally and practically.
Successfully meeting the emotional, physical and practical challenges is hard work, but it will lead to a better divorce, and be well worth it.