Top 10 Things to Remember When Going Through a Divorce

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The Mom’s Guide to a Good Divorce by Sarah Armstrong

“A good divorce is when the mommy and daddy are nice to each other and try to be friends, like you and daddy, and a bad divorce is when the mommy and daddy fight and scream at each other.” Sarah Armstrong’s book, The Mom’s Guide to a Good Divorce, opens with that poignant statement made by her daughter. Ms. Armstrong, who works at a global company in marketing, didn’t fully appreciate she had a good divorce until her daughter told her. Ms. Armstrong decided to help other mothers have a good divorce, and wrote a book about what to think through when children are involved.

Here are 10 of the best bits of advice Ms. Armstrong gives, largely in her own words.

  1. Keep your children in the forefront of your thoughts throughout the process.
  2. There are many reasons that trigger a divorce and the reasons are often emotionally driven. So you need to do all you can to stop, collect yourself, be smart, and approach the process in a very conscious way, trying to take as much emotion out of the process as possible in order to achieve the outcome that you desire.
  3. Walk away from a marriage, don’t run away.
  4. If you still have things to work through in the marriage, work through those in advance of triggering a divorce. You do not want to work through your marriage issues during a divorce. That is not the intent of the process.
  5. Divorce is an incredibly emotional time. You need a calm, level-headed and practical mindset.
  6. Understand your finances.
  7. Find out if the Collaborative Divorce process is right for you. Ms. Armstrong participated in the Collaborative Divorce Process, and credits it as part of the reason she had a good divorce. As Ms. Armstrong notes, while a full team approach may sound expensive, “it can actually be a more efficient way, both in terms of time and money, than the traditional [litigation] approach.”
  8. Keep a calendar both parents can view and manage as needed. That way each parent has the same understanding of where the children are each day as well as keeping everything straight in terms of school and extracurricular activities. Ms. Armstrong (and other parents we have worked with) finds that the Google calendar works very well.
  9. Have a photo of the other parent in your children’s rooms.
  10. Don’t ask questions if you don’t care about the answer, or, more importantly, shouldn’t care about the answer.

As Ms. Armstrong mentions, she is not a lawyer, and wrote this book based upon her personal experience. While it is great food for thought if you are considering a divorce, remember to consult with an experienced family law attorney. Contact Richardson Bloom & Lines Family Law for more tips on how to have a good divorce.