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The Dos and Don'ts of Getting a Divorce- Things to Do and Avoid

Updated on July 28, 2009
Try to remain friendly with your ex because it'll only help in the proceedings.
Try to remain friendly with your ex because it'll only help in the proceedings.

In the dictionary, divorce is loosely defined as the dissolution of a partnership in business and in a relationship. When a marriage reaches the point of a divorce, the end is a mix of anger, misery and a collision course of disaster. Most marriages that take the divorce route have no other option except to sever all ties. Unfortunately, most couples don't know how to properly behave or proceed in ending their marriage. They usually operate on instinct and heartache instead of rational thinking in divorce proceedings.

Here are six guidelines that need to be followed in order to make your pending divorce be as painless as possible. Three recommended courses of action and three things you need to avoid in the pending proceedings. Decide whether divorce is the right thing before going any further. If so, think carefully before making any rash decisions.

Do talk with your spouse about the nature of your marriage before running to a divorce attorney. See where the relationship stands and whether both partners want to terminate the marriage. Have an objective discussion about how the divorce should proceed privately before allowing divorce attorneys into the mix. Make a list of what both partners would like to happen in the divorce and try to stick with it as closely as possible.

Don't allow the divorce attorneys to control the action. If that happens, a three ring circus will be the end result. Some divorce attorneys are in the business of making a ton of money, even at the expense of their clients. Find a divorce attorney that will protect their client's best interest as well as their bottom line.

Do keep all emotions at bay. Bad behavior and righteous indignation have no creedance in divorce court. Heather Mills' bad behavior of airing Paul McCartney's dirty laundry to the public in order to get a better divorce settlement was abhorant. Avoid trying to make more money at the expense of everyone's integrity. Greed isn't a good thing to have when getting a divorce. Remain objective even when violence would be necessary for the sake of every involved. No one likes a sore loser.

Don't use your children as a bargaining chip in the divorce proceedings. Many divorced couples still endure the problem of maintaining balanced child custody. Look at Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. They've been divorced for years and are still fighting over custody for their daughter. The fight has gotten so nasty that the infamous voicemail message was exposed to the public and showed the negative effects of divorce. Try to keep your child's best interest at heart and avoid allowing egos get in the way of properly parenting your children. A healthy ego isn't better than the love of a child. Leave your ego outside the door when spending time with your children. The nastier the divorce, the worse it effects your child. Watch how both parties behave before the next legal step is made.

Do attempt to remain friends or on friendly terms with your soon-to-be former spouse. If you can remain friendly with them, the divorce should be a little less difficult. Being friends with your ex is necessary if children are involved. You have to be co-parents together so leave the childish behavior for recess at school, not in the adult world. That's just plain childish. Grow up immediately.

Don't move onto a new relationship too fast. That's insulting to your ex and your children if you have any. Mourn the passing of your marriage and allow some reasonable time before jumping head first back into the dating pool. Realize that rebound relationships never last and enjoy your independence while it lasts. Love yourself again before loving someone else.

In the end, these guidelines don't have to be followed to the letter because every couple is different. Develop your own rules to live by when divorce proceedings are started. Remember to stay sane even when insanity is everywhere. Divorce doesn't always have to be a war zone. Only if you allow it to be.


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    • tinaweha profile image

      Tina Boomerina 7 years ago from Seattle (and the world)

      Hi there,

      I'm just going around spreading holiday cheer. Here are my best songs (click throughs to youtube) to help you feel good after a breakup or divorce. Hope my songs help someone.

      Merry Christmas

    • lindagoffigan profile image

      lindagoffigan 8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great advice and softly spoken. What do you do in the case of a contested separation even and refusal to sign the papers?