Get a lawyer. If you’re in, or considering divorce proceedings that is.
As you’ve probably figured out, while this advice is free, taking the advice will cost you money. But here’s the catch;in the long run it will save you money, anguish and possibly prevent irreparable damage to your relationship with your children.
I’m writing this now because I recently encountered someone who is in serious danger of losing contact with his children, and had he consulted with someone competent prior to finalizing his divorce agreement, he most probably would have avoided the worst problem he confronts today.
It’s sad, and unnecessary, so please, take this free advice.
Were I given to hyperbole I would say that half of the files in my office are people who made divorce agreements without consulting a lawyer, or who went on the fast track of what they considered mediation, but which wasn’t mediation in any meaningful sense. After the divorce, things pretty much blew up in their faces.
Since I’m not given to hyperbole, I’ll admit that it is not half, but it is no small number.
Usually, but not always, the blow up is around the kids, and no, for those of you out there thinking with a feminist bent, it’s not always the women who get messed up like this; I’d say that most of the post-divorce cases I handle are actually men.
Let me make this clear; I’m not against settlements, and I’m not not in favour of long, drawn-out proceedings that only serve to exacerbate the bad feelings and enrich the lawyers. So I am not necessarily arguing for litigation in every case. Rather, that you have an advocate in the truest sense of the word, someone looking at matters with a professional eye to see that your long-term interests are protected.
Unfortunately, the assumption “I thought if I’d be nice, things would go smoothly” isn’t always the correct assumption for the majority of divorcing couples. There are too many irrational forces at play. And remember, chances are that if you could work things out pleasantly and to your mutual advantage putting pettiness aside, you might have been able to save the marriage.