Love conquers all except, well, when it doesn’t. When a couple makes the heartbreaking decision to end their marriage, we often hear one or both of them say, “I just want out” or “I’m ready to be done.” It’s not that people don’t mean it, but all too often the divorce process seems to take on a life of its own. Never-ending court hearings, failed negotiations, and meetings with lawyers effectively holds a person “hostage” in his or her failed marriage. Its hard to move on with your new life when you’re stuck battling in your old one. Here are a few things to consider:
Pick your battles – When dividing your assets, do you really want to wait an extra two months for a Court to decide who gets the $400 television? Can you live without it? Can you buy a new one? Do you really want to pay your attorney for the court time to argue the matter? Is it about the principle of the matter or the satisfaction of taking it from the other person? Ask yourself the hard questions and decide if it’s worth it. If the answer is still yes, then by all means fight for it.
Crime and punishment – The grounds for divorce in Illinois are irreconcilable differences, therefore, the Court is generally not going to throw your spouse in jail for cheating on you, lying to you, or being a jerk. Trying to prove you are the “good guy” and your spouse is the “bad guy” only prolongs the process. Such antics hinder successful negotiations and will fan the flames of anger and resentment. While everything you say may be true, unless it has some bearing on his or her ability to be a fit parent, then it is only delaying your divorce.
Goals and objectives – Refer back to paragraph one! Wrongfully withholding your spouse’s visitation with the kids can result in emergency hearings, more anger, and often, calls to the police. Getting your spouse fired from his or her job will affect alimony and child support obligations. Cleaning out the joint savings account and buying a motorcycle with the money leads to a claim for dissipating (squandering) marital funds. Sneaking back into your marital home to destroy your spouse’s personal property often results in yet another emergency hearing, typically a restraining order. Remember what you really want to achieve.
Divorce is hard. It’s hard on each spouse, it’s hard on the kids, and it’s hard on the family and friends who love you. Letting go of the expectations to be a family, to grow old together, and all the plans that go with such expectations is HARD. Be kind to yourself and your loved ones. Don’t allow the divorce process to make it even harder by allowing it to drag on and on. Don’t allow your divorce to take on a life of its own. Don’t let your divorce hold you hostage.
**This article does not represent legal advice. Schedule a consult with one of our lawyers to find out how we can help you
Photo credit: http://people.com/human-interest/4-georgia-parents-co-parenting-photo/