Let's face it, ending your marriage was probably at the bottom of your to-do list. When you married, you expected it to last, but for whatever reason, you find yourself at a crossroads. You can no longer remain married, but you don't really want to go through a divorce.
It may help to know that many Pennsylvania couples felt, and feel, the same way. Giving in to the emotional fallout could make your divorce messy, expensive and time-consuming. It may be a challenge, but if you can put those emotions aside and treat your divorce like a business transaction, things could go much more smoothly. In fact, you can take additional steps to make the process easier.
Don't feed the fire
Just about everyone is tempted at some point during the divorce process to "get a little revenge" on his or her soon-to-be former spouse. However, that may only make the process more contentious and miserable for everyone involved. Instead, consider the following steps to increase your chances of achieving a settlement with which you can live:
- Don't try to keep assets from the other party.
- Don't max out the credit cards or take out a second mortgage.
- Open a separate bank account.
- Make sure that your spouse is served in private. Humiliating him or her through public service will only cause problems.
- Refrain from doing anything purely out of spite.
- Don't fight over a certain asset just because the other party wants it if you don't.
- Don't expect to share custody of the family pet.
- Try to reach a settlement out of court. Going to court will deplete your funds and may only increase the tension.
- Give mediation a chance. Having a neutral third party to guide you through reaching a settlement could keep you focused on the task at hand.
- Be realistic. More than likely, you won't get everything you want, but you may still end up with a fair settlement.
Most importantly, if you have children, don't put them in the middle of your divorce. As hard as the situation is on you and the other parent, it may be even harder on your children.
Seek the right help and support
The support of friends and family is crucial during a divorce, but they can't help you resolve your legal issues. Your chances of reaching a fair and equitable settlement may increase with the right advocate on your side.