What do Ashton Kutcher, Angelina Jolie, and Britney Spears have in common? Besides being trend-setting celebrities, they all hired Laura Wasser as their divorce lawyer. Wasser’s new book, “It Doesn’t Have to be That Way: How to Divorce without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself,” was released October 1, 2013.
In an article by Ashley Reich for the Huffington Post, Wasser shares top behaviors that will help facilitate the difficult transition during divorce. This week we’ll look at her top five:
1. Manage Expectations: Whether it is before, during or after marriage, it is important to communicate openly about expectations “anything from how to raise your children, where you will live, what kind of vacations you like to take and financial expectations,” says Wasser. Having challenging conversations throughout your marriage is important for whether you stay together or split.
2. Get Help: There’s no “time for a divorce” button that suddenly lights up when things have broken down beyond repair. Some preventive steps could help. Seeing a counselor individually and as a couple should be on the list of things to do before making the ultimate decision.
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3. Children First: All parents want the best for their children but when a divorce is in full swing, it can be challenging to actually keep them as their interests at the center of decisions. As you continue through the process, bring them to the front of your mind whenever you can. Make decisions based on their needs and long-term benefit.
4. The Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated, that includes the person with whom you will continue to co-parent. Wasser suggests “three key things: Be kind, be reasonable, be brief.”
5. Divorce is a legal contract: As much as your emotions are wrapped up in the process of divorce, remember that, in part, this is a legal transaction to divide assets and resolve other financial issues connected to your marriage. Keep that in mind and try to leave emotions out of the proceedings. Remember, your attorney is not your counselor but a law professional you hired to wade through the rules and regulations of divorce. If you need, find a qualified therapist or religious leader for support for your emotional issues during divorce.
Whether you reside in Wellington or Jupiter or West Palm Beach, you know that divorce can be an exceedingly challenging time, but by keeping the above recommendations in mind, you can make it through the process a little bit easier.