March 11, 2016
As you know, divorce is not always as fast as ripping off a Band-Aid. Actually, in many divorce cases the Band-Aid is being pulled a tiny bit at a time, making the whole process way more painful than it should be. This happens when you don’t manage your time well and fall into what seems like an endless battle with your spouse. But the good news is that you can avoid a lot of this by practicing these good time management habits. We’ve talked about them in detail in our book “Happily Separating: the Okun/Billian Way to an Amicable Split.” But here is a quick overview!
Start With Goals
It can be difficult to manage your time if you have no idea what’s involved in a divorce or what outcomes you want to achieve. Start by talking to your Maryland divorce attorney and building a good understanding of how a divorce works. Then proceed to setting realistic goals that may include your ideal outcome as well as how long you want to spend on the process of getting divorced. Of course, divorce doesn’t always go the way you plan it. But it still helps to set some initial expectations and make sure you and your attorney are on the same page.
Make it a Priority
If you truly value your time and don’t want your divorce to drag on longer than necessary, then you need to make it a priority. This means if your lawyer calls you while you are at work, answer it or call back as soon as possible. If your lawyer is asking you for some documents, get them sent over right away. Trust us, there are often plenty of other bottlenecks along the way such as weather, conflicting schedules or health issues—don’t be the cause for delay!
Prepare for the Meetings
Strive to be as efficient as possible by making the most of every meeting with your divorce attorney. You can achieve this by scheduling meetings in advance, preparing for them and arriving on time. A good tip is to keep a notepad by your side or use your smartphone to create a list of questions for your attorney. But make sure it is not something your spouse can access. Every time you think of something, write it down so that you can ask it later along with other questions. If your attorney asks you to bring some paperwork to the meeting, it’s better to over-prepare than under-prepare. Did they ask for last year’s tax returns? Make sure you bring the returns with you.
Pick Your Battles
Accept that getting what you want may take time. Are you ready to put your personal life on hold and spend time in litigation? Only you can answer that question. If you do choose to stand your ground and need to take some or all of the issues to trial, we will be there with you every step of the way. And if moving on and enjoying your life is more valuable to you than some assets you may have to give up, we will help you arrive at a compromise with your spouse.
Being honest with your attorney is very important for a successful divorce strategy. This includes both answering questions honestly and fully cooperating with your divorce attorney. Do you feel like you have an important piece of information your attorney should know but didn’t ask you about? Tell it to them anyway. Think of it like talking to your doctor about your symptoms. If you tell them about the fever, runny nose and cough but don’t mention the fainting, you could be treated for the wrong illness! Not only will you continue to be sick, but when the mistake is discovered it could be too late to fix it. Even if it feels unrelated, like an expensive gift from your spouse, say it anyway. Being open and honest with your lawyer now will help you avoid delays and unpleasant surprises down the road. This is why it’s important to choose a Maryland divorce lawyer you can trust and open up to.
Hopefully, these tips will help you better manage your time during your divorce. Feel free to read our book for other tips on achieving an amicable split. It’s available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or contact us for a consultation!