Click here to see what a flower looks like to a human eye and to see what the same flower looks like to a honeybee’s eyes.
How you perceive the divorce process and how judges and lawyers perceive it are two very different things. Both you and your spouse need to gain an accurate understanding of divorce law and the divorce process, if you have any hope of that process being amicable, quick, and inexpensive.
When you (and your spouse): understand how to work intelligently within the confines of divorce law you reduce conflict in the divorce process, whether that be in court or in negotiations. The more you and your spouse know about divorce law, court rules, and the divorce process up front:
- the less you have to fear and dread the subject of divorce (you’ll never love it, but you won’t fear and dread it nearly as much)
- you won’t worry over looking like a fool who doesn’t know what he/she is talking about because you will know what you’re talking about
- the less you will procrastinate starting the process
- the easier it will be to approach each other about divorce (it’s never an easy task, but you can make broaching the subject easier on the both of you)
- the less time, effort, and money you and your spouse will waste angrily, foolishly, and embarrassingly arguing
- the more of a businesslike, clear-headed (less emotional) approach you will take to the divorce process
- the sooner you can confidently get down to the business of identifying and working out your divorce issues in a way that complies with the laws and rules governing divorce
- the mutually fairer (and faster) agreement you will and your spouse will reach in settlement negotiations
Be warned: there will be many aspects of divorce law, court rules, procedure, and settlement that will outrage you.
The laws governing alimony, child custody, child support, division of retirement assets, and division of responsibility for marital debt, who keeps the house (if it’s keepable at all) are often not what you think and do not operate as you feel they should.
You can rail against “the insanity of it all!” if you want (and a little venting may be necessary to get it out of your system and clear your head), but being outraged won’t do you any favors at the bargaining table or in court.
The point of gaining a sufficiently broad and deep understanding of divorce law and the divorce process is to ensure you know what can and cannot be done, the range of what you can reasonably expect, and so that you don’t waste time, effort, and money on taking and arguing positions that have little to no chance of succeeding.
So much of what people fear and hate about divorce comes from being ignorant. Dispel the fear and hate by dispelling the ignorance.
“The more you know” was (and, I was surprised to learn, still is) a cheesy PSA campaign, but it’s no less true.
- take the time and make the effort to become informed and educated. It’s one of the best investments you’ll make in the course of your divorce (almost as valuable as hiring a skilled lawyer—really)
- read the Our Divorce blog posts and watch the videos
- read other blogs and articles and watch videos about the laws governing divorce in your jurisdiction
- read the statutes and court rules governing divorce in your jurisdiction. Even if you don’t understand every word, it’s good to get an overview
- and even if you think you understand the law(s), you will benefit from meeting and discussing with a lawyer (or two or three) what the statutes and rules mean and how the courts apply them
- read the opinions of the appellate courts in your jurisdiction that addressed divorce issues
You and your spouse will both be better prepared for a better divorce experience for doing so.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277