Getting a divorce takes a long time in the state of Maryland. During that time, you may feel anxious, depressed, angry, excited, filled with dread, filled with anticipation, or, most likely, a combination of emotions. Some of these emotions can be inconsistent with each other, yet still experienced – sometimes on the same day. While experiencing a multitude of intense emotions, people sometimes make decisions that don’t truly serve them in the long run. Avoiding commonly made bad decisions can protect you from wasting time, spending more than is necessary on litigation, emotional costs, and other negative fallout.
Fighting for Fighting’s Sake
Everyone’s divorce is different. But hurt feelings and feelings of betrayal often accompany a divorce. In many cases, both parties feel they have been wronged by the other. However, fighting just to hurt the other party is not productive, it is time-consuming, and it is expensive. Here are some proactive tips to reduce the amount of fighting during the divorce. If the sound of his voice sends you into the stratosphere, consider communicating by text or email. Maybe you find you reflexively say “no” to absolutely every proposed resolution she has. In this case, consider asking your attorney for their neutral opinion on the nature and quality of the offer. If you find yourself wanting to revisit the past and rehash choices already made, stop. Just stop. This is not a productive use of your time. If you want to complain to your sister, go ahead. But limit your discussions with your soon to be ex to things that are important today. This might include discussing parenting time schedules, or the sale of the house. Revisiting who cheated on whom, or why, is a rabbit hole best avoided altogether.
Cutting Corners on Up Front Costs
In Maryland, assets are divided equitably. However, in order for the judge to determine what is fair, the judge must have a clear picture of the assets of the marriage. If you have valuables such as jewelry, art, or antiques, it may be best to get them professionally appraised. Similarly, rather than relying on your spouse to estimate the value of their business, consider a professional skilled in business valuation. Finally, rather than presuming you know what your house is worth, and the value of the neighborhood, get an appraisal. While you will have to pay for a professional to render their opinion, in many cases, this upfront cost will save you time and money in the long run.
Using the Children
Of course your children are aware that you are divorcing. Of course you should talk to your children about the divorce. However, talking about the divorce and talking about their other parent are two very different things. Children do not need to know the sordid details of your conflict with your spouse. Nor should children be used to communicate information from one parent to the other. Instead, if your relationship is so strained you cannot call or text, find a parenting app that allows you to schedule parenting time, doctor’s visits, and school conferences and share it with your ex.
Forgetting Your Manners in Court
When you are in court, don’t forget your manners. Often times, when couples arrive at the courthouse steps they can bring the worst out of each other by their very presence. Here are some common courtroom behaviors that will not serve you, no matter how tempted you may be to engage in them:
- Eye rolling
- Exclaiming in disgust
- Interrupting the judge
- Raising your voice
- Throwing things
- Talking loudly to your attorney while the other attorney is talking
- Mumbling under your breath
- Stamping your feet
Sure you may be frustrated, but forgetting your manners will not impress the judge.
Failing to Act in Your Own Best Interests
The smartest and most capable divorce attorney in the world still cannot read your mind. They cannot know whether you prefer the tools in the garage or the art in the living room. They don’t know your children. Thus, whether a 2/5/5/2 schedule or an every other week schedule would work best for your family is something you are far more familiar with than your attorney. Your input is essential to the process. Without it, your divorce resolution may not fit best with your needs and wants. Meet with your attorney and be up front and honest. Consider what you think you will need after the divorce. Compare this to what you may want or would like. Also, consider what you will not need. Provide this information to your attorney. This will allow her to negotiate on your behalf, knowing your personal priorities.
Are You Considering a Divorce?
If you are considering divorce, contact our office to schedule a no-obligation consultation. We can talk with you about your situation. We will address your concerns, discuss possible approaches, and explore what you want and need in a divorce. At Fait & DiLima, we have a team of family law professionals working together to assist you in case resolution. From our paralegals to our case managers to our capable divorce attorneys with over 50 years of combined experience, our team is here to help you. We focus on getting you back to what is most important to you as quickly as possible. Call today at (301) 888-6384.