Learning how to file for divorce goes beyond knowing which papers you need to sign and how to divvy up the assets in a fair and equitable manner. Many couples think it’s all about finances and administrative paperwork, but there are other factors at play, and without proper grounding, you could end up making things worse for yourself, your ex, and your children.
Any time you wish to learn how NOT to file for divorce, you needn’t look any further than the world of celebrities. There are so many examples of bad marriage breakups among the rich and famous that it seems virtually impossible for any union of money and/or notoriety to succeed.
What’s worse, the dissolution of the marriage can’t help but happen in a very public manner. The recent divorce of advertising man Charles Saatchi and chef Nigella Lawson is a textbook example of how not to file for divorce.
A heated dispute in which Saatchi was caught on camera choking Lawson caused such a scandal that it ended up making US headlines in spite of the pair not being very familiar to stateside readers. Following the tiff, Saatchi filed for divorce, citing his “disappointment” that Lawson did not speak out in his defense with the message that he “abhors” violence against women.
Lawson reportedly learned Saatchi wanted a divorce through the press and not through interpersonal communication. It’s without doubt a PR disaster, but it’s also a very loud, very ugly reminder that divorce can get out of hand without the right level of maturity, communication, and planning, no matter who you are. And that can negatively affect the settlement, child custody, and your future.
With that said, here are three quick “musts” for making the divorce process easier on everyone.
1. Keep conflict low-key.
That means stay away from your social media accounts whenever you have the urge to sound off against your spouse. We live in a screencap culture. Nothing you put out into the world — even things you delete — are truly gone forever. No one’s telling you to be buddies with your ex, but you should handle each other with respectfully and sensitively while seeing the process through.
2. Practice good PR with friends and family.
Don’t let yourself be cast as the “villain.” What’s the old song say? “There ain’t no good guy / There ain’t no bad guy / There’s only you and me, and we just disagree”? Take that attitude to heart when you’re learning how to file for divorce, and you’ll be moving on with your life more quickly. Plus, your kids don’t need to hear about what jerks their parents are.
3. Don’t allow yourself to be “the victim.”
It doesn’t always take two to make a divorce happen. Sometimes the blame belongs more heavily on one party. Still, you don’t do yourself any favors playing the “Poor Me” angle. Accept that your marriage didn’t work. Examine your own life with an eye towards self-improvement. Use it as an opportunity to become a better you instead of wallowing in your own grief and despair.
If you’re wanting to know how to file for divorce, start with the attitude you use to handle it, and the rest will fall into place.