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7 Strategies to a Successful Divorce

Updated on February 5, 2014

How do you get through a divorce successfully?

If you are going through a divorce, here are 7 strategies that will help you to have a successful divorce.

Here you'll find essential truths about the divorce experience that very few people will be honest enough to tell you. They're more likely to try to assuage whatever feelings you have (hurt, anger, resentment, relief, indignation, hurry, desire to be reasonable, etc.). They're less likely to tell you the real deal about what lay ahead for you.

I am a divorce attorney in northern New Jersey. I've represented hundreds of people navigate through their divorce. What have we seen? We've seen that some divorcing people are open to suggestions, and some are not. Some people are hurt, bitter, angry, and resentful, but want to get past those feelings (eventually) and have a good life. Others feel all of those things, and have every intention of nurturing those feelings through the divorce and into their post-divorce life, and actually, to their grave. Some people are accepting and wanting the divorce, and are reasonable, rational, and centered, but are frustrated with their spouses irrationality and emotionality, and are stressed by the whole divorce process.

If you're going through a divorce, hang in there. There is hope. And, if you follow these 7 Strategies, you'll end up with a good life both during and after the divorce.

What to do when your spouse is really really really driving you crazy about this-or-that?

Attorneys are trained to think and respond logically. There are really only 4 things an attorney can do in response to a complaint you have about what your spouse is doing. For example, let's say that you have a pending divorce, and your spouse is being mean to you, or is not feeding the children the way you want them to, or is taking your favorite jacket, etc. And, you tell your attorney this.

Can your attorney go over to your spouse and yell at them and beat them into submission? No.

Well then, can the judge do that? No.

So, what can be done then? Here are the 4 things that attorneys, judges and the Court can do?

1. Call your spouse's attorney - Sometimes, bringing your spouse's stupidity to the attention of the other attorney can work because the other attorney is often more rational than your spouse. So, if your spouse's attorney thinks that your spouse's stupidity is going to end up in front of a judge who will lecture them, and that attorney doesn't think that your spouse has money to waste on going to Court over such small issues, then that attorney will often be successful in telling your spouse to "knock it off!"

2. Writing a letter to your spouse's attorney - Whether we recommend writing a letter or making a phone call really depends on what the issue is and who the other attorney is. Sometimes, we want a paper trail because we think that the other attorney won't do anything, or won't accomplish anything with your spouse, and thus, we will end up in front of a judge over the issue.

3. Bring a motion - Understand 1 basic thing about the divorce process: The judge decides NOTHING until the final trial - UNLESS you bring a motion. A motion is a formal process that gets a request to the judge, and that request is about a temporary problem (e.g. who will pay the mortgage, who will walk the dog, who will plow the driveway). Motions in my neck of the woods are expensive. What do I call expensive? Oh, 15 to 25 hours of legal work. So, at my hourly rate of $250/hour, that's about $3,500 to $6,500 for a motion. Can it be more? Absolutely. Can it be less? Rarely.

4. Prepare for trial - If it's a "big picture" issue, then it's going to be decided at trial, so you may or may not want to bring a motion about it now. If not, your posture might be to just forget about trying to work it out with the other side (who's acting like a brick wall) and just prepare for trial. Keep in mind though, that the Court will force you to continue the settlement conversations because the Court does not want to actually have to hear a trial.

Okay, now that you know those 4 possible legal responses to a problem during the divorce, you can start evaluating your preferred resolution BEFORE you call your attorney.

I just want

them to


I just want them to STOP!

Yes, I know.

But, that's not going to happen.

THAT'S why you're getting a divorce.

They didn't STOP during the marriage, and they're not going to stop NOW.

Stop what? Stop doing whatever drives you crazy, makes you nuts, makes you furious, undermines you, wastes the money, hurts the children's feelings, hurts your feelings, frustrates you, annoys you ... (you get the picture).

Now, eventually, after a very expensive litigation and a very expensive trial years from now, you may end up with a Court Order that says that they have to do this-or-that, and you may finally be relieved, but that piece of paper will come at great emotional, physical, temporal and financial cost, and your then-ex-spouse may or may not follow what's written on it.

That's why I created these 7 Strategies, because, after all, if you're not going to be able to change them, what can you do?

Answer: Follow these 7 Strategies.

laughter in divorce
laughter in divorce


There is ONE THING that ALL of my clients - and ALL of their families - have in common:

They all have a lack of LAUGHTER in their lives.

Clients seem to discount this fact, and the importance of it on their lives.

BUT, when I remind them that it's probably been a long time since their children saw them laugh - and better yet, since they laughed WITH their children - THEN they realize that this crucial element of their children's lives has been missing for a l-o-n-g time.

So, start laughing again NOW!

This laughter will:

1. Make your home better

2. Make your kids happier

3. Make you happier

4. Make your stress from the divorce situation

5. Make you be able to deal with the divorce better

GO AHEAD! Click on one - click on them all! I dare you to try watching any one of them without laughing so hard you cry. Vote for your favorite.

Want some clean stuff to watch with the kids?

Here are a few Christian comedians that are clean enough to watch with the kids.

(Actually, all the videos above are clean enough to watch with the kids too!)

Shark Bait: What Every Divorce Rookie Needs to Know

Shark Bait: What Every Divorce Rookie Needs to Know

Shark Bait: What Every Divorce Rookie Needs to Know
Shark Bait: What Every Divorce Rookie Needs to Know

Books I recommend to divorce clients all the time

Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters
Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters

If you are: capable of more than you are accomplishing; frustrated that you are not making more money; Stuck in a rut and not getting what you want; bored with yourself; silently enduring an emotionally barren life or marriage; trudging, zombie-like, through an unchallenging career; just "going through the motions" of your life; living in a comfort zone that yields too little challenge; living a lonely existence with little hope for change; then hold on as Dr. Phillip McGraw....

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

recovery has begun for millions of individuals with this straightforward guide. through personal examples and exercises, readers are shown how controlling others forces them to lose sight of their own needs and happiness.

The Power of Intention
The Power of Intention

Intention is generally viewed as a pit-bull kind of determination propelling one to succeed at all costs by never giving up on an inner picture. In this view, an attitude that combines hard work with an indefatigable drive toward excellence is the way to succeed. However, intention is viewed very differently in this book. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer has researched intention as a force in the universe that allows the act of creation to take place. This book explores intention—not as something you do%u...


Have you gone through a divorce?

See results

Happily Ever After Divorce

I really like this book and have started recommending it to my clients.

Reading this book is like having a friend that you can laugh and cry with through the whole turmultuous process.

Everyone has a divorce story - their own, or a friend's - feel free to share it here!

Toss in your 2 cents about the divorce experience

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    • profile image

      donald 12 days ago

      My lawyer has told me that I have no defense and that my wife will receive half of everything I own because its the law. I contend that since my wife made more money than I did during the marriage and now has nothing. Im not responsible for her. She can work and should be made to return to work to care for herself.

    • martingallagher profile image

      martingallagher 3 years ago

      It's a painful process but keeping calm and composed helps get through it easily.

    • profile image

      liamsquidoo 4 years ago

      Great lens, enjoyed reading it. Keep up squidooing :)

    • profile image

      SeanDavis 5 years ago

      Getting through the rigors of a divorce can be difficult for even the strongest of people. Finding humor in divorce seems really tough to ask for.


      Minnesota divorce

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Laughter is a good medicine indeed.

      - colorado springs divorce lawyers

    • profile image

      SueDawes 6 years ago

      That's a good one from David Ferrell. Funny but so true isn't it..

      DIY Divorce

    • profile image

      divorce4 6 years ago

      That Bill Cosby is classic... It's funny how you can find humor even in divorce.

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 6 years ago

      @Amy Fricano: Thanks Windygig! LOL! I wish that too!

    • Amy Fricano profile image

      Amy Fricano 6 years ago from WNY

      Smart. Honest. Bench view: I wish every divorce ATTORNEY knew this too. :)

    • profile image

      RickCruz88 7 years ago

      Thanks for the lens, this is a lot of great information. Now if only there was a simple way to find a good lawyer...


    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Nice lens, the info here is very helpful to anyone going through a divorce. One thing I would recommend is talking to friends and family who have already been through a divorce, and seeing if they have any helpful advice.


    • profile image

      Reasonable_Divorces 8 years ago

      Nice lens! You've got a great collection of information and resources here. I'd love it if you'd drop by my lens and say hello when you have the chance.