During the divorce process it is important to tread carefully to ensure a smoother transition into your new life. To help you navigate this challenging process, here is a list of dos and don’ts that can result in a more positive outcome:

The Dos:

 Seek Professional Help: Divorce can be overwhelming. It’s essential to consult with a qualified family law attorney to understand your rights and obligations. Additionally, consider seeking emotional support through therapy or counseling to help you cope with the toll of separating from your spouse.

 Prioritize Your Children: If you have kids, their well-being should be your top priority. Allow them time to adjust to the changes, and do not use them as messengers between you and your ex-spouse. Avoid introducing new partners into their lives too soon.

Maintain Open Communication: Effective communication with your soon-to-be ex-spouse is key. Try to keep the lines of communication open for the sake of practical matters like childcare and financial arrangements. Consider using a neutral mediator if necessary.

 Gather Financial Documentation: Collect all relevant financial documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, and investment records. This is important for property division and determining spousal or child support.

Create a Post-Divorce Budget: Divorce can have a significant impact on your financial situation. Develop a realistic budget that outlines your income, expenses, and any potential changes post-divorce. This budget can help inform you during the negotiations about what you need post-divorce.

The Don’ts:

Don’t Rush into a New Relationship: Avoid starting a new romantic relationship during the divorce process. It is important to allow emotional feelings to settle during this time.  If there is someone else, introducing new partners too soon can complicate matters, especially if children are involved.

  Don’t Use Your Children as Messengers: It’s very important for you to communicate directly with your ex-spouse rather than relying on your children to relay messages or exchange documents. Using children as messengers can be emotionally harmful to them.

 Avoid Turning Children into Confidants: Regardless of their age, refrain from sharing too much personal information or trying to sway your children to take sides in the divorce. This can lead to emotional distress and damage their relationship with both parents.

Refrain from Making Major Purchases: While the divorce is pending, refrain from making significant purchases using community funds or even your separate assets. Check with your attorney about any restrictions on spending, as there can be automatic restraining orders on certain types of financial transactions.

 Divorces are never easy, but following these dos and don’ts can help you make informed decisions and protect your interests throughout the process. Remember that each divorce is unique, and consulting with a legal professional is crucial to understanding the specific laws and regulations. By approaching your divorce with caution, empathy, and a focus on the future, you can pave the way for a much smoother transition into the next chapter of your life.

Lynette Kim has over 25 years of experience as a Family Law Attorney and Mediator. Her practice focuses on peacefully resolving disputed divorce issues.

The Kim Mediation and Law Center is located at 3701 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 508 in Los Angeles, California. To schedule an appointment, call 213-352-1000 or visit www.kimmediationandlaw.com