“All is fair in love and war!”
These words were first echoed in 1578 by the English Renaissance poet John Lyly. The actual quote states that “The rules of fair play do not apply in love and war”. But when love turns into war and you’re headed for the divorce court, it’s a double whammy!
All of a sudden, a new set of rules apply. Rules that are created by the courts and manipulated by crafty lawyers. It is no coincidence that the end of a marriage often leads to a divorce “battle” where the gloves come off and civility goes out the window! And, if being Suddenly Single has left you weak and vulnerable, you have to guard against Divorce Duplicity.
To the victor go the spoils. To the victim goes the kitchen sink!
I’m a survivor of three divorces and a “scarred” veteran of divorce wars. And I have learned some valuable lessons.
If I were your Suddenly Single Coach, I would recommend the following:
1.Get a good lawyer!
Depending on the issues involved, find the best qualified lawyer your budget can afford! It is very important that you and your lawyer develop a professional relationship. S/he should have an in-depth understanding of your needs and circumstances. Interview several lawyers before you decide who is most passionate about representing you. Some lawyers will throw you to the wolves, and courts have little sympathy.
2.Negotiate a settlement!
If your lawyer is a skilled negotiator, a settlement is usually preferable. It is usually less expensive than a full divorce trial and there are no last minute surprises. But a settlement has to be fair to both parties if it is going to succeed. Review the settlement options with your lawyer and seek their counsel on the merits of the deal.
3. Negotiate for equity and equality . . . not revenge and punishment!
The hardest thing in any divorce procedure is “letting go of ego”! When I coach Suddenly Singles and prepare them emotionally for a divorce, I help them get to a point where we separate church and state. Or in this case, emotion and reality!
Divorce settlements are not based on emotion, yet emotion can undermine the process.
If you and your “Ex” are heading for divorce, the above steps will go a long way to come to a mutual agreement that is fair and equitable for all involved. Don’t let emotions make you vulnerable to Divorce Duplicity!
Tomorrow I’ll talk about “Seven Steps to Save Your Suddenly Single Soul”!
Until then . . .
Live Without Limits!
© Allan Mulholland & Associates Inc. 2009