Helping clients facilitate their divorces is part of our job as New Jersey family law attorneys. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be an active participant in the process. After all, the outcome dictates YOUR future – especially in the years immediately following the split. Choosing the right divorce lawyer is just the first part of the process.
Being active in your divorce is not just about “getting your way.” In fact, there may be a fair amount of choosing your battles. However, there are likely certain assets or child custody terms on which you want to take a hard line. If you and your soon-to-be-ex disagree on those points, being proactive about it now can benefit you in the long-run.
Plus, taking on a more active role gives you a greater understanding of the financial, legal and personal dynamics at play, and present you with more opportunities to develop workable solutions.
We understand it can be tempting to mentally check out during a divorce, but the reality is you are the only one who knows how you want the next chapters of your life to read. To create the best odds that the terms will be favorable, we encourage clients to be as involved as possible.
Provide Information – To Your Attorney
The more relevant information you provide your divorce lawyer regarding your assets, debts, marriage and parenting, the more he or she will have to work with. If your attorney doesn’t outright tell you what you should be documenting and collecting, ask.
The most obvious records include:
- All financial account information
- Tax forms
- Financial statements
- Real estate records
- Information about your children (medical needs, sports, recreation, special needs, educational needs, etc.)
All of this gives Middlesex County family law attorneys a clearer understanding of the big picture, which can help better define your goals and form the basis of legal strategy for how to achieve them.
Continue communicating with your attorney as questions or concerns arise. Make sure you fully understand any proposed agreements.
Prepare Yourself Financially
You already know divorce is going to have a financial impact, possibly a significant one. Even if you do receive alimony, prepare yourself to be living on less. Knowing what your expenses are now, what they are going to be, how much you have in savings and roughly how much income you’ll have once separated will help reduce the chances of an unpleasant surprise.
It’s not uncommon for people to file for bankruptcy during or after divorce. Keeping an eye on your money now can help keep you out of an unforgiving debt cycle.
Communicate with Your Kids
When your children know what to expect and have a safe place to share their thoughts and ask questions, they’ll be better off emotionally – both now and in the long-term.
Divorcing parents shouldn’t think of this as a one-time conversation, but an ongoing discussion, tailored to a child’s age, maturity and level of understanding (though there is no need to give them the play-by-play). Kids can be incredibly resilient, but more so if they’re prepared.
Talk to them about parenting time and how it’s may affect their daily life. Consider seeking out counseling resources if it seems it would be beneficial.
Check Your Emotions
The mediation table, the courtroom – these are not the places to let emotions fly. Actively participating in your divorce also means taking the time to sort through your emotions in a healthier, more productive setting (with a therapist, trusted friend/family member, exercising, a new hobby etc.). You’ll be personally better for it, but it also ensures you aren’t missing out on any important negotiating opportunities – or at least that you aren’t making the process more challenging than it needs to be.
The bottom line is that while your divorce lawyer is the expert, your input and involvement is invaluable during this process. The more active a role you assume, the more satisfied you’re likely to be with the outcome.
To learn more about how you can actively participate in your New Jersey divorce, contact Rozin | Golinder Law today at (732) 810-0034.