Pitfalls of Doing your Divorce on your Own

I was talking with a friend the other day who told me about her aunt who is going through a divorce and struggling to handle all of the divorce paperwork on her own. She told me how much she worried about her cousins’ futures, and said she wished her aunt would realize how she is putting their future in jeopardy.

Sadly, it’s a story I have heard over and over. In a rush to move on with her life, the aunt didn’t want to invest in legal services. I’m sure she thought “It’s too expensive and just imagine all of the bills I will now be handling on my own!” Truly, it should be looked at not just as a legal bill, but as an investment in the future. The investment ensures that you receive all the rightful assets that are yours and the rights and custodies that you desire. The majority of us do not have the proper legal training to handle a traditional divorce on our own, and it can lead to unforeseen and painful consequences.

Even better, consider the benefits of mediation, which can cost far less than the typical court divorce. It might sound odd to use the word successful and divorce in the same sentence, but mediation can provide a better separation experience. Through mediation, I have been able to bring some of the most distant couples to an agreement, based not only on sound legal practices, but also on soundings from their hearts. I feel a mediation-based separation can be a more holistic way to approach the situation than the destruction-based court divorce which tears apart so many lives in today’s society.

Mediation also provides a forum for children to state their feelings and wishes, which a court divorce would not offer. When given an opportunity to be heard, it can give children an important boost in self-esteem and help to alleviate some of their anxiety about the future.

So I wonder, if my friend’s aunt has found herself at a crossroads which she never anticipated, then how can she possibly know how best to plan for her future? Considering that it is one of the most stressful transitions in life, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to make good legal decisions. Also, for many people, divorce can cause us to turn inwards, in an attempt to protect ourselves from further pain. Instead, I encourage you to reach out today to the mediators at West Coast Family Mediation (WCFMC). We have many successful years of experience guiding people through the process. Together, we will work to shape the best possible future for you and your loved ones, both emotionally and legally. Contact West Coast Family Mediation today.

by: Amanda Singer

Amanda Singer with west coast family mediation center

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