When you are going through the divorce process, your ideal post-divorce situation may feature many of the elements of your married life, including your car, your house, your possessions, and your assets. The only part of your ideal post-divorce life that differs from your married life is the presence of your ex-spouse.
While this may be your ideal situation, the reality of the situation may be far from this scenario. When it comes to your assets and possessions, you may have an emotional attachment to them, fueling your desire to fight for them in your divorce. However, your ex-spouse may have the exact same feelings.
Importance of your attorney
This is why you need to partner with a family law attorney who understands your goals and knows how to set you up for the best possible post-divorce future. While you may not be able to get everything in your divorce that you desire, your family law attorney will fight for your rights and help you avoid the harmful effects caused by the gender stereotypes that pervade the family court system.
The possessions and assets that you are fighting for are your choice. You are choosing to tell your family law attorney the specific items and assets that have the most value to you. In instances when communication between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse still is salvageable, mediation may be an effective method of settlement.
The mediation process
Depending on your state, mediation may be required. Whether it is a formal or informal form of the process, it can be an avenue to information or an avenue to settlement.
Before going into this process, it is vital that you sit down with your family law attorney and determine what you may want and what would be considered acceptable losses. This list will help them determine how to proceed.
Cordell & Cordell Executive/Managing Partner and CEO Scott Trout said during an episode of the Men’s Divorce Podcast that there are times during mediation when an argument for a specific item or asset is based on principal, and you, as the client, need to make the decision that is truly what is in the best interests of the overall situation.
Significance vs. principal
This decision-making process highlights the importance of you and your family law attorney being on the same page before the mediation process begins. You need to decide that the time and money spent on the process is best spent arguing over the assets or items that you desire, if that is truly what you want.
Whether the item or asset is valuable or not, your family law attorney will do their best to see that you keep that item. However, you are the one who needs to make that decision. Whether it is something as significant as a car or as insignificant as silverware, you need to decide that this is an item or asset worth fighting for.
Making these types of decisions can be challenging and overwhelming. Many who face these types of situations do not always maintain a clear picture of what items or assets will put them in the best position to recover from their divorce.
Many times, individuals going through the divorce process get caught up on emotionally significant items or items that they know that their soon-to-be ex-spouse wants.
Children in the crossfire
Additionally, if you are a father, you need to keep your children in mind. Regardless of how you feel about your co-parent, you still share children with them, and they need them just as much as they need you.
If you choose to pursue an item or asset that jeopardizes your children’s future, then you are doing it for yourself and without their best interests in mind.
Importance of perspective
It is important to remain focused on what is in the best interests of you, your children, and your future. As much as you may desire all of the assets and items from your marital life during the divorce process, it may not be realistic, nor in the best interests of your children, given that they will be spending time with your co-parent.
You need to remain calm, clear-minded, and focused, as you navigate this challenging time in your life. Fighting over significant assets and items can be justifiably done because of the principal of the matter. However, you need to do so knowing how these fights fit in the larger picture.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.