The divorce process is never easy, even when both parties are making an effort to remain civil and amicable. If the divorce is contentious, the process can be emotionally and financially exhausting. One of the most frustrating parts of the divorce process for many people is the feeling of helplessness as they sit back and wait for the legal system to bring the matter to a conclusion. If you find yourself feeling that way, there may be something you can do to help move things along. In fact, you might be surprised at the following five ways you can help your divorce attorney.
- Create detailed lists of marital debts and assets. This is a practical step you can take even before the divorce has been filed that will save your attorney a considerable amount of time as well as ensure that an overlooked asset or debt doesn’t pop up down the road just when you think you have reached an agreement. For each entry on your lists, provide as much detail as possible, including things such as:
- Type of asset/debt
- Date acquired
- In whose name is the asset/debt
- Current value or payoff amount
- Account number (if applicable)
- Monthly payment for each debt and who is making the payments
- Prioritize what you hope to get out of the divorce. It goes without saying that divorce is an inherently emotional process. It is very common for the parties in a divorce to start the process wanting to take everything from the other party out of anger, spite, or a sense of revenge. In reality, however, it is very rare for a party to walk away from a divorce with everything they asked for coming into the process. At some point during the proces, you will need to try and negotiate a settlement. With that in mind, spend some time now prioritizing what you want out of the divorce. Exactly how you prioritize things is up to you; however, it will help your attorney to know going into the process what is most important to you and what you might be willing to give up.
- Put your children first. If there are minor children of the marriage, it is imperative that you put their needs and what is in their best interest first at all times during the divorce process. Custody of minor children is often contested, and when it is, a divorce can turn very adversarial quickly. If you are planning to contest custody of your children, make sure you are doing so because you truly believe it is in their best interest for you to be the primary custodial parent, and not because you are angry at your soon to be ex-spouse.
- Give mediation a try. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an out of court Marital Settlement Agreement on your own, the court will likely recommend mediation. Instead of waiting for the court to mention it, why not suggest it yourself through your attorney? Furthermore, when the day comes for the mediation, have a positive attitude and truly give the process a try. Mediators are trained to help people in precisely your position. If you do your part by cooperating and keeping an open mind, you may be able to resolve some – or even all – of the contested issues in your divorce without the need for a costly trial.
- Be reasonable when negotiating. This is the hardest part for some people if they are experiencing strong negative emotions toward their spouse. Your emotions may very well be justified; however, to the extent possible, they need to remain outside of the negotiating process. Keep in mind that if a judge is forced to decide the contested issues in your divorce you may end up in a much worse position than you would be in through engaging in reasonable negotiations. Talk to a professional, if warranted, about the very real emotional trauma the divorce is causing; however, when it comes to negotiating the terms of the divorce try very hard to do so reasonably and with as little emotional input as possible.
Contact a Tennessee Divorce Attorney
If you are contemplating divorce in the State of Tennessee, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Tennessee divorce attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the divorce process. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.