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5 things to know before filing for divorce

| Oct 30, 2020 | Divorce |

Many marriages in Illinois have reached the breaking point in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and other numerous stressors added to already strained relationships. Stay-at-home orders, job losses and other factors pushed many couples past the point of no return.

If you have been affected, it’s easy to let emotions overwhelm you when thinking about divorce. However, decisions based on strong negative feelings rarely lead to good results. That’s why it’s essential to focus on the practical side of the process to reach the best outcome.

Things to remember before you file

Consulting an experienced family law attorney who will look out for your best interests is vital for your financial and emotional well-being. While your lawyer will focus on the business side, it’s important that you embrace these concepts:

  • Don’t adopt a win vs. lose mentality: When marriages become contentious, it’s easy to want to “beat” your spouse in court, especially if infidelity or abuse is involved. It’s rare that one spouse gets everything they want, and long, bitter and expensive court battles can be especially hard on children.
  • Don’t make hasty decisions: You will face many challenging choices along the way, but don’t make snap judgments over the big decisions, such as selling a house, just to try to get it all behind you quicker. Understand the potential consequences of each decision you make.
  • Put your kids first: Remember, it’s you getting divorced, not your kids. Avoid making negative comments about your soon-to-be-ex-spouse around your children, as psychologists say kids suffer the most when they hear their parents argue or make unkind comments about the other.
  • Avoid divorce “advice”: It’s normal to lean on close friends or family members who may have gone through a divorce themselves. However, remember everyone’s situation is different, and it’s not a good idea to base your decisions on someone else’s experiences.
  • See the “big picture”: Instead of fixating on the negatives that led to the end of your marriage, focus on a brighter future and what you need to do to move forward in the best interests of you and your children. Forgetting the past and working with your spouse can help forge a positive co-parenting relationship.

You are not alone

Knowing that a marriage is over can be one of the most lonely and frightening experiences anyone can face. However, despite the challenges, remember the goal is to achieve a positive future. Focusing on the things that help you start your new life in the best physical, emotional and financial shape is the best approach you can take.