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Goals not Swords | Family Lawyer’s Advice on your Divorce

Goals not Swords | Family Lawyer’s Advice on your Divorce

We begin our relationships with the hopes and dreams that our future will be bright, full of love, and all with our new partner by our side. Unfortunately, as time passes, the universe sometimes reveals to us that our partner may not be our “life partner.” Once the relationship starts to fragment, things can often spiral downwards fast; we often find ourselves becoming bitter, feeling broken, hurt, confused and angry.

When that difficult day arrives where we finally decide to leave our partner, who promised to make our life beautiful but instead caused us unhappiness, stress and anxiety – we may want to keep a few things in mind.

The ending of a marriage can be one of the most emotionally complicated situations one endures in a lifetime. We may find ourselves looking back at the relationship and see its entirety through a completely different lens than when we were married.

The Urge to Fight a Family Law Battle

We often go over moments again and again, trying to figure out if we can see where things came apart. Sometimes accepting that this is the end is the most complex part of it all. Feeling that we endured so many miseries and made it through so many hardships… we feel wronged in countless ways. We feel taken advantage of and no longer want to feel like the victim.

“The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you’ll never have.” — Søren Kierkegaard.

This quote precisely describes how people often feel when relationships end, and our dreams and hopes for the future can leave us feeling shattered about the memories of the beautiful future we envisioned with our partner.

Why We Want the Best, Most Aggressive Lawyer

This is often when we decide to start the war. We want the best lawyer, and sometimes we even want the most aggressive lawyer. We want a lawyer that will make the other side feel the pain they caused us and one that will hurt them at every opportunity possible – even to our own detriment at times. We expect this will make us feel less victimized and will heal us somehow. Unfortunately, litigating aggressively, rather than strategically, often only leaves us with more legal fees, more stress and an unresolved bitterness with less satisfaction than we hoped for.

To your surprise, an aggressive lawyer is sometimes the worst choice you can make when dealing with your family law issues. 

To support ourselves through this difficult time, an essential yet difficult tip to remember is to embrace the whirlwind of feelings that come along with the end of a marriage. From the anger, hurt, grief, and pain, to the relief and hope of better days in the future. The sooner we accept the loss, the sooner we can get our life back and start adding better years ahead. It is crucial to find someone we can trust to confide in during this time, someone that will help us get through this process. Professional support can be life-changing at this moment in life.

Determine Your Goals vs. Winning a Battle

It is imperative that you determine what your goals are:

  • What do you want at the end of this process?
  • What will be a fair settlement in your perspective?
  • Where do you want to be financially at the end of this divorce journey?

Stay focused on your goals rather than trying to win in a battle against your ex-partner.

Pay Attention to Yourself Instead of Your Ex-Spouse

Find activities and friends that help you stay calm, grounded and positive. Justifiably, issues surrounding your relationship and your children can bring up deep-rooted feelings and cause intense arguments. Going through the divorce process with a balanced mindset will help you stay focused on your goals.

There are several different approaches you can take when beginning your journey through the divorce process. Beginning your divorce journey with your goals in mind will help you determine what the right direction is for you, and the right approach can save you days, weeks, months and even years, in addition to thousands of dollars in litigation.

Plan Your Divorce

In a less complicated scenario, you could begin the divorce process by attempting to develop a plan with your now ex-partner. This approach could include proposing a mediation – a more collaborative approach with the guidance of a lawyer prior to beginning the litigation process. With alternative dispute resolutions, you will generally spend thousands of dollars less in legal fees than you otherwise would through litigation.

A mediator is not a judge but rather a neutral, unbiased third party who can help you and your ex-partner come to an agreement in settling your family matter. You can participate in the mediation process with your legal counsel. If mediation is unsuccessful, nothing is preventing you from moving forward with litigation.

Children in War

This divorce will undoubtedly affect your children. The relationship with your children will be the most treasured relationship you will have in your life. As a child of separated parents, I recall all too well the effects of my parent’s tumultuous marriage and the journey of them going their separate ways. It will be difficult to get past your emotions, hurt, anger and grief in the beginning; nevertheless, you must try to keep reminding yourself of the effects of your actions, and your ex-partner’s actions will be on your child(ren).

If you know your ex-partner is a good parent and you believe your children will be safe in their care, try to develop an appropriate parenting plan that works for both of you prior to litigating.

However, please remember it is pertinent not to enter into any agreement without first obtaining independent legal advice.


Written by Susan Justice, Family Lawyer at YLaw. 

To contact our award winning family lawyers for a consultation at YLaw, please call 604-9974-9529 or get in touch

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