In many respects, the outcome of a divorce can feel entirely out of your control. You can’t make your ex be reasonable, agreeable, transparent—any of the qualities that would help make separation easier. You also can’t avoid the anger, sadness, depression and other emotions that accompany the end of a significant relationship.
But what you can do is understand your rights, select the best partners and experts to support you on this journey, and weigh your options carefully in pursuing a resolution that gives you the best psychological, economic, social, and familial outcomes possible.
Practice Self Care
Getting a divorce can be an emotionally and psychologically straining time. Whether you were married a year or a decade, you’ve paired yourself to someone publicly, let yourself be vulnerable, and invested time, money, and energy into a relationship that’s now ending. This can be a lot to handle. In addition, the emotions you’re experiencing can also color the outcome of your divorce—if you’re overwhelmed, you may find yourself ignoring key steps you need to take, and if you’re angry, you may end up making rash decisions that don’t benefit you in the long run.
To bring your best self to your divorce, practicing self care can be a smart place to start. Not only will this help you through the grieving process of ending a relationship but also it will help you navigate and negotiate a healthy, appropriate settlement for you and your ex. The internet is full of self care ideas—yoga, meditation, clean eating, regular exercise, therapy, support groups, retreats—but the most important thing is attending to yourself during this challenging time.
Preserve Your Assets
We intentionally started with the emotional question of caring for yourself because the best way to preserve your assets—to understand what’s yours, mine, and ours and value each appropriately—is to cultivate an emotional state that lets you advocate for yourself. A good divorce attorney will identify key issues, help you navigate the paperwork and decisions, and advocate the best resolution for your particular situation. But at the end of the day, it’ll be up to you to identify what matters most for your future happiness.
Maintain and Use Your Support System
You didn’t get where you are by yourself. Along the way, you had partners and collaborators, great teachers and advisors, and people who challenged you to become the success that you are. In the wake of a divorce, it can be tempting to withdraw from those individuals or try to hide the fact of your divorce. We’re socialized to think of divorce as a failure or as something shameful. But in reality, divorce is extremely common and not a reflection of you.
Withdrawing from your support system may give you the appearance of preserving your pride, but in the long-run it can lead to increased feelings of loneliness and isolation, which has myriad impact on your health and well-being. Instead, the better investment is leveraging your social support system: asking friends to do meaningful activities with you, finding new ways to give back to the community to give yourself a greater sense of purpose, and learning to enjoy your friends’ company as your single self. Trust us, they don’t want to lose you any more than they want to see your relationship end.
Put Your Children First
If you have children, this last item on the list is decidedly the most important. Unless they’re of a certain age, your children won’t have any say in the outcome of the divorce, but they do need to know that both parents will continue to love and support them. Practice the considerations above so you can pursue the most appropriate outcomes related to your child custody, visitation, and support orders. Refusing to treat your children as pawns in your divorce not only help you reach a faster, more appropriate resolution in the short-term but also set you up to ensure strong, long-lasting bonds with your children well into the future.
The High Stakes of a High Asset Divorce
The rulebook that governs divorce in California may look formulaic but in reality, every divorce is unique to the individuals involved. For high asset families, not only are the emotional, social, and familial stakes high but also the economic question of an appropriate resolution is that much more complicated. A certified family law specialist will help you understand the specific considerations for a high net worth divorce but you should also be sure to take care of yourself, your relationship, and your children during this challenging time.
At Van Voorhis & Sosna, we know the complexities of divorce in the Bay Area because it’s our sole focus. We offer legal advice and representation based on integrity, trust, and understanding. Contact us today, or call 415.274.2530 to schedule a free legal consultation.
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