As expert divorce solicitors in Guildford, here at Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors we are best placed to help you navigate through the minefield that the divorce process can first be seen as. We fully understand how both your own, and your soon to be ex-partners emotions can be running high throughout the process and will endeavour to guide you throughout in a professional and rational manner, ensuring you are aware of all choices and options open to you, before any decisions are made.
It is important that you both try to remain calm during any discussions and to stay non combative, especially where there are children to consider. We can help using our unique legal and psychological approach, where legal expertise, combined with psychological understanding, will help to maximise your chances of a successful outcome, whether that be in reaching agreements, mediation, or litigation and supporting you throughout the process.
We have compiled a list below of some helpful do’s and don’ts for you to keep in mind whilst going through the divorce process:
Do NOT use your children as pawns.
It is important that you remember your divorce is between you and your spouse, your children are not part of it. You should both be putting the children’s best interests first and both doing everything you can to keep them out of any conflicts you have.
Do not row in front of them as this is particularly unsettling, upsetting and disturbing for them, don’t forget they love you both.
Ensure they get quality time with each of you whilst you are sorting out the details of the divorce.
Don’t play one off against the other, children thrive in stable situations where their routine remains the same, so try to keep bedtimes, after school activities etc. the same where possible.
Never use them as your ‘sounding board!’ You should never put them in a situation of speaking ill of your spouse with them, or using them as your confidante, it simply isn’t fair on your children to be used in this way. If you need someone to talk to use a trusted family member or friend – NEVER your children.
Do not make them choose between you. You both love your children and will want only the best for them, so do not put them in a situation where they need to choose. You can make the best decisions for them together, without making them feel they are choosing sides.
As expert divorce solicitors Guildford we can help you through this process and to help you make the best choices and decisions for your children.
Do NOT immediately tell the world you are divorcing.
Often, in the heat of a particularly nasty argument ‘divorce’ will be used as a threat and in the ensuing hours or days, whilst the argument festers on, it can seem the only outcome. However time and time again we see couples who feel it is the only solution, come to us and after mediation, realise that their relationship can be ‘fixed’ and go on to be the loving, successful and happy marriage they wanted when they first chose to get married.
Even when you have decided that divorce is the only answer it is best to take a few days to process this information yourselves.
The first people you should tell are your children, and do this together if at all possible. By showing a united front it will give them some security that you are dealing with this together and they can speak to you both about any questions, or fears, they may have.
Telling other family members and/or friends can be done together or separately, depending on the circumstances of your split and your individual relationship with each of them – for instance if you don’t get along with one of your partners family members you may not wish to be present when they are told.
Always keep it simple when letting your friends and family of the situation, and do not place blame or bad mouth your spouse either – things have a habit of coming back to haunt you!
DO keep an eye on your finances.
If you have a joint account it is best to close this immediately you have both agreed to the divorce. This will stop one, or both, of you using the account to run up further debts, or removing any funds from in there without your spouse’s knowledge. It is best to set up individual accounts and agree payments etc. regarding your household bills.
Money is a conversation you will need to have at some point, as you will need to look at your household expenses, particularly if one of you is leaving the marital home and wishes to buy/rent a new property alone. It is easiest to make a list of all your outgoings and incomings together and make new arrangements.
Do be honest when discussing finances together, as if one of you tries to hide any financial information (i.e. bank accounts, houses, trust fund etc.) from the other then when it is discovered the court will take a very dim view of this and you will find yourself penalised, potentially very heavily, for witholding this information hidden.
Do NOT take advice from unqualified people.
No matter if they have been through a divorce themselves and feel equipped to offer you their interpretation of the process – it remains just that…their interpretation.
With many years in the field of divorce solicitors Guildford, we have dealt with this scenario on a pretty much daily basis. We totally understand that every single divorce, whilst they may share similarities, is completely and utterly different from each other. This means that not just our advice, but also all options open to you, will vary considerably from each couple and we will make sure that all information pertains to your individual divorce and not that of your neighbours, aunties, friends etc. We take into consideration how each person deals with the process, your relationship with your spouse, whether you have children and each of your relationships with them. All of this, and much more, will help us to formulate a picture of your family dynamic and aid us in ensuring we provide the best possible service and solutions to your personal divorce.
Do NOT do anything now that you may regret in the future.
There is a very good saying – ‘act in haste, repent at leisure’ and this is a good thing to bear in mind at this time, as you may react to a situation in a hostile way, or make poor choices or decisions based on wanting to ‘point score’ during a hostile divorce, but these can have a nasty way of coming back to cause you problems, even years down the line. Decisions should be made in a calm environment, with ALL options and possible repercussions explained fully to you, so you are able to make informed decisions for your future and that of your family and not be rushed into something that may not be of long term benefit to you.
It is important to try to keep all contact and conversations on an even keel, but we are aware that this is not always possible – we will do everything we can to help prevent your divorce becoming a combative and hostile environment.
For all your divorce queries and questions we are here to help. Please feel free to contact us today on 01483 826470 and let us help to alleviate your fears.