What Women Should Know About Divorce

woman digesting lots of information
woman digesting lots of information

If asking for spousal or child support, you will always receive more money if you are already employed or have a source of income, your husband is earning more than you, and you can show a need for his financial assistance through a request for child and/or spousal support. Thus, it is detrimental to purposefully limit your stream of income, quit your job if not necessary, or downplay your ability to earn because you think you will receive more from your husband.

If you are in a domestic violence situation, and periodically experiencing threats, intimidation, and even physical assault, you should separate from your husband as soon as you are able to do so. You must educate yourself about the domestic violence cycle and know that each incident could become worse physically and psychologically than the last one you experienced. Without assistance, education, and separation, each incident could become more harmful, not only to you, but also to any children living with you. There are domestic violence assistance centers at courthouses in California where family law cases are processed and heard.

Unless you need the protection of domestic violence restraining orders, try not to speak badly about the children’s father. Demonstrate to your children that you still respect and communicate with their father to psychologically and financially support your children, and to let them know that they are most important to both mother and father. In other words, that the children come first.

Be careful about what you say to your children even if your children are teenagers or adults. Try not to align your children against their father and/or other siblings.

If there is no domestic violence, or the need for restraining orders, consider an alternative to divorce litigation, such as mediation or a collaborative divorce. Both you and your husband can meet for a free or reduced fee consultation with a family law attorney/mediator and/or family law collaborative attorney. Together you can consult about the process, the fees of the attorney/mediator and/or collaborator, and make a joint decision as to how you will both proceed. This can help husband and wife to move more quickly through the divorce process, with less emotional, psychological, and financial detriment, and help both parents to reassure the children jointly that you are working together to provide two homes for them in which they can continue to be parented and nurtured by both mom and dad.

Once the divorce or legal separation begins, don’t play games with your spouse. Try to cooperate to gather and prepare the information that is necessary to describe, assess, value, and divide your assets intelligently, amicably, and speedily.

Don’t hesitate to obtain assistance from a licensed mental health professional that you have previously worked with and respect, or find a competent licensed professional to assist you through the emotional and psychological aspects of the divorce process.

Don’t let family members or friends force you into a divorce process that is uncomfortable for you.

One of the biggest compliments I have received from couples who I have mediated or collaborated is that when they go to their child’s school for a meeting with the teacher, the teacher doesn’t even know that the children’s parents are divorced.

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