If your divorce is difficult enough, you'll do just about anything to be through with it, but that situation often leads to giving up what rightfully belongs to you. You just want it to be over, so you agree to terms and concessions that simply aren't in your best interest. It doesn't have to be that way, no matter how much you can't stand to be in the company of your ex. With the help of a divorce lawyer and a smart, focused plan, you will land on your feet with what you need to continue with your life.
1. Talk To Your Divorce Lawyer About How You Feel
Beyond discussing the division of property and assets, don't hesitate to inform your lawyer that you're sick to your stomach at the thought of being around your spouse—especially if there was any kind of emotional or physical abuse in the relationship and/or if your spouse is manipulative and vengeful. That can make having to face them in divorce proceedings incredibly difficult, and they're likely to use your emotional vulnerability against you. Attorneys have seen this all before, however, and yours isn't going to allow the ex to use your feelings of fear and apprehension to talk you into a quick and inadequate settlement.
2. Let The Lawyer Fight On Your Behalf
Depending on which state's laws apply to your divorce, you could be entitled to half of the marriage's total assets or an equitable distribution of them, which may mean something slightly different than a half-and-half split. If you don't want to be in the company of your spouse, though, you might be inclined to give in to their demands to be done with the process as quickly as possible. Let your divorce attorney fight that battle for you, obtaining all that you're legally owed or possibly even more if your spouse acted in an improper way. For example, if adultery was involved, you could gain a significant advantage in the proceedings.
3. Avoid Face-To-Face Confrontations With Your Ex
Under the right circumstances, an attorney can represent you in a divorce without you having to make an appearance during every hearing or proceeding. Ask your lawyer to help you avoid having to face your spouse to make the entire process more bearable for you. Your spouse may attempt to influence your divorce decisions through harassment, coercion, or other methods, and if that becomes too much for you, you can file a restraining order, which would limit your exposure to these tactics to mandatory court proceedings only. Documenting any misconduct could also give you an advantage with custody disputes.
Above all, you are entitled to go through with your divorce without feeling intimidated, so avoid confrontations as much as you can and let your lawyer stand between you and your spouse's bad attitude.
4. Ask A Family Intermediary To Handle Visits With The Kids
If your settlement includes visitation rights with your children, try to let someone else, like your parent or sibling, handle that, too. So long as you know your kids will be in safe and reliable hands in the company of your ex, have someone else be there when your ex comes to pick them up or drop them off. Any contact with you might be used as an opportunity to get even, change your mind about something, or otherwise cause you distress. You can bring these feelings up in court, too, so that your ex knows to be on their best behavior in your and the children's presence, lest they risk losing their legal rights of custody and visitation entirely.
5. Contact Your Lawyer For Child Support Adjustments In The Future
Even after your divorce is finalized, if financial circumstances change for your spouse, you can petition the court to modify any custody agreement. For example, if your ex lands a new and more lucrative job, you may be entitled to more child support. Likewise, if your circumstances change, such as if you lose income or if there is an increase in your children's medical and other expenses, the court may see fit to order an increase in child support payments. Call your legal team right away in these cases to initiate the process in an expeditious manner and keep you in control of your finances.
Don't allow the emotional upheaval of divorce to sway you away from standing up for yourself. Seek the company of strong, supportive people and work closely with your divorce attorney to get what is rightfully yours. This will be all over eventually, and when it is, you're going to need the resources to carry on for you and your children.