Keeping Your Cool When Your Marriage Falls Apart

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The divorce process in Virginia can be very hard on you and your entire family. Knowing who you can trust while dissolving your marriage can be difficult. However, rest assured that if you hire a Virginia divorce lawyer from ShounBach, they will have your best interests in mind from the moment you hire their legal team.

Emotions run high during the dissolution process, and it can be easy to lose your cool. However, decisions you make while you are angry, disappointed, or upset may not be good ones and could have lasting effects. Therefore, staying calm, cool, and collected is the best way to make it through the divorce process. Your divorce attorney can certainly help with that goal.

What Are the Best Options for You to Consider for Your Divorce?

Considering a divorce is a big deal. This huge decision will touch virtually every aspect of your life. Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful events you will experience in your life. Often the prior promises, future plans, and memories of good times are replaced with anger, hurt, and sadness. It is hard not to feel vengeful or want to act on those nasty feelings. As you consider your options, you need to consider several facets of your marriage.

Be Aware of the Big Picture

It is a good idea to keep an eye on the big picture. The divorce process is just a small part of this overall life change. While the divorce process can be challenging, it can also be difficult to deal with the aftermath of finalizing the divorce as well.

For example, you need to consider how the divorce will affect your children and make decisions with their best interests in mind. You also need to take steps to address shared marital assets and make plans for what your new household will look like after the divorce.

Consider Consulting with a Mental Health Professional

There is a lot at play in a divorce, and it can feel overwhelming. As you work through this soul-searching process, be sure to consider your own mental and emotional well-being. Divorce often increases anxiety and depression, which can lead to an increased risk of alcohol abuse.

For many people, relying on friends and family for support is extremely helpful. Depending on your situation, you might also want to consider formal therapy, either individualized or in a group setting.

Though your divorce attorney will help you through every step of the divorce process, there are many ways a mental health professional can be a valuable asset during this difficult time. A mental health professional can teach you coping skills, offer suggestions on how to communicate with your spouse constructively, or help your children deal with what is happening around them.

A mental health professional can also give you advice regarding the best way to deliver information regarding your separation, divorce, and family changes to your children. The attorneys at ShounBach can refer you to a mental health professional to help you navigate this difficult time.

Keep Calm to Make Rational Decisions

The decisions you make at this time will impact your family for years. No matter how you choose to cope with making this decision, staying calm should be at the forefront of your mind. Making calculated, rational decisions is much easier when you can process the necessary information slowly and calmly.

Your divorce attorney understands the emotions you are experiencing. They and their staff can be good sounding boards to vent frustrations and hard feelings. However, while you may be angry and upset about your situation, always remember that your attorney and their staff are trying to help you.

What Should You Not Do When Considering a Divorce?

Staying calm is one of the keys to a successful divorce. There are a few things that the Virginia divorce attorneys at ShounBach occasionally see that clients should avoid doing.

Do Not Take It Out on the Children

It is imperative to focus on what is most important and follow your divorce attorney’s advice regarding your children in the divorce process. Unfortunately, they are the ones most affected by warring spouses.

While there are certainly instances where one party is an unfit parent, that is not the norm. Ultimately, many divorces end in joint custody relationships. In most cases, both parties want to do what is best for their children, even though they may be making poor, irrational decisions during this trying time.

It is important to remember that your spouse is your child’s other parent. You should refrain from talking badly about them in front of your child or asking your child to play spy. Studies have shown that talking negatively about a parent in front of or to a child not only impacts their view of and relationship with both parents, but it can also negatively impact that child’s own view of themselves.

As hard as it is for you to deal with the breakdown of your marriage, it is perhaps even more difficult for your child to come to terms with the family break-up and household changes. If the parents act like children, it makes the entire situation worse.

Do Not Wait to Change Your Will

You need to be practical as you work through your divorce. One of the ways to address the change in your family make-up is to adjust your will right away.

Under Virginia law, your spouse is still considered the person best-suited to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated even if you are separated. They will also become the executor of your estate if you pass away. Essentially, your will does not change unless you take action to change it.

If you do not have a will, Virginia’s default probate rules will apply. Essentially, your spouse will also likely be the individual to inherit everything you own, even if you have already filed for a divorce or your spouse has filed against you. Your spouse is still your spouse under the probate code until the divorce is final.

Be proactive about the practical aspects of your divorce by changing the terms of your will and any powers of attorney right away, even if your divorce is not yet final.

Do Not Refuse Mental Health Help

Your mental health is critical. It can take a huge hit when working through a divorce. You might struggle with anger, feelings of low self-worth, and a host of other emotions. A therapist can help you work through these feelings and teach you valuable coping mechanisms. They can also help you remain calm and keep your cool about the situation around your children. Ultimately, they can give you tools to be self-sufficient as well.

What Are the Advantages of Hiring a Lawyer for a Divorce?

Clients engage in poor behavior or act irrationally because of anger, resentment, or simply having no experience dealing with this type of difficult situation. Do not make that mistake. Let a Virginia divorce lawyer help you keep your cool through the divorce process.

Your divorce lawyer might ask you to gather important information for the divorce, such as asset records and bank information. Some of the information requested from you, or the “homework” you must complete, can be confusing, but it is vitally important to your case.

You are required to prove certain facts to be awarded child custody or get a favorable property settlement. Gathering this information will help your lawyer put forward your best arguments to increase the chances of a favorable result. Ultimately, it is important for you to follow your divorce attorney’s instructions and complete these tasks in a timely manner so your lawyer can represent your best interests to the fullest.

Your divorce attorney will be with you every step of the way. They can help you gather information, present your divorce case to the court, negotiate with your spouse, and a lot more. They can be a rational voice that will not only explain your rights but also help you process all of your decisions, especially when it comes to the care and well-being of your children in child custody cases or a child support dispute.

What is the Best Way to Approach Your Lawyer?

Remember that your divorce lawyer is on your side. They are your partner in this process who will help you accomplish your goals in the divorce. Even though the divorce is painful for you, you want it handled properly — and having an experienced lawyer will help with that.

Sharing some information with your attorney can be difficult, but it is necessary. It is not just for informational purposes. Giving the complete story about anything that affects your divorce will help your lawyer be better prepared to help you with your case. You should share everything with you attorney at the very beginning; even things that you are embarrassed or ashamed of. Surprises in divorce proceedings will often come to light, and if your attorney does not know about an issue, they cannot prepare for it.

You cannot get good legal advice if your lawyer does not know the whole story. Tell your divorce lawyer everything, from domestic violence issues to potential hidden assets.

Tell Your Divorce Lawyer All the Facts

Virtually everything you tell your lawyer is protected by attorney-client confidentiality (also known as the attorney-client privilege). That means that, with a few limited exceptions, because of your attorney-client relationship, your family law attorney cannot share that information with anyone else without your permission.

By giving your lawyer all of the facts, they can help you work through all of your options. Leaving out information or deliberately being misleading your attorney will only hurt you in the long run.

Should I Tell My Divorce Lawyer Everything? Disclose Everything!

Some issues are sensitive and not fun to talk about, especially with a professional you do not know well. Just remember that your divorce lawyer is on your side and can only provide the best work for you when they know the whole story.

When you disclose everything, you provide your lawyer with the information they need to make your case as strong as possible. Be sure to discuss relevant information such as:

  • Infidelity (past or present)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Emotional or physical abuse
  • Drug dependence
  • Alcohol addictions
  • Mental health issues and physical limitations (especially if they might affect your children)
  • Asset information (for alimony/spousal support and child support)
  • Criminal History

All in all, there is not much that you should NOT tell your attorney. Be as thorough as possible.

What Happens If You Hide Information from Your Attorney?

Unfortunately, if you do not tell your attorney everything, you are more likely to get an unfavorable result at trial. Keeping information from your divorce lawyer might cost you more in the long run or could cause your attorney to withdraw from your case.

If your ex-spouse’s lawyer discovers things like mental health issues or substance abuse, it can be used against you. They could also use forensic accountants to discover hidden bank accounts. By disclosing it to your lawyer now, instead of at trial or during depositions, they can prepare properly to address these difficult issues so that they have the least amount of impact on your case.

Experienced Lawyers in Litigation and Mental Health

Having an experienced divorce attorney can make a huge difference in a divorce proceeding. Our law office knows divorce law. At ShounBach, we understand some of these more challenging issues in a divorce, and we can help. Our law firm has over 200 years of combined experience providing legal services to work through family law matters. Put that experience to work for you by calling 703-222-3333.

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Written By ShounBach

Since 1975, ShounBach has served the Northern Virginia community. Our team brings over 200 years of combined legal experience and has grown to be one of Virginia’s largest family and estate law firms.

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