Getting a divorce can be an emotionally and mentally exhausting process.
Divorce proceedings can last anywhere from six months to several years,
depending on the circumstances. In many cases, the process doesn’t
end at getting a judicial decree declaring your marriage dissolved. During
my 35 years as a divorce lawyer, I’ve found that life after your
divorce is easier if you’re prepared. Below, I describe some of
the most helpful tips I’ve found to be effective for my clients.
Maintain Positive Relationships
Some divorces can devastate a person’s social life. If you had a
close group of friends as a couple, you may find yourself in a sort of
unspoken custody arrangement with them after your divorce. It’s
still important to try and maintain any surviving friendships during your
Do not be ashamed to join a divorce support group as well. Sometimes support groups can help you more than a friend who has never
experienced a divorce.
Set Clear Boundaries with Your Ex
For some couples, this may not even be an issue. For others, it may be
easier said than done. If you had a long marriage, you might have formed
habits or routines that assumed your spouse’s presence in your life.
The transition out of married life may take longer for both spouses without
clear boundaries regarding money, space, friends, and communication. Many people strongly advise against resuming a sexual relationship with
your ex, as sex can be used as a method of manipulation.
Be on Top of Spousal Support Payments
If you are ordered to pay
spousal support as part of your divorce, it is important that you pay it regularly and on time.
Late or missed payments could negatively impact your credit, and in severe
cases can result in civil or criminal fines.
If you are receiving spousal support payments, you may still have obligations.
If you were unemployed during marriage, the spousal support order may
have a “step-down provision” that automatically reduces your
spousal support after a certain amount of time based on the assumption
that you would have found gainful employment. In that case, it is important
that you made a good-faith effort to become self-supporting, even if you
ultimately don’t land a job. If you can show the court that you
diligently sought employment, the judge can modify the original order
and delay when a step-down provision becomes enforceable.
Be on Top of Child Support Payments
Like spousal support, it is important to stay current on your
child support obligations. Failing to do so can have serious legal and financial consequences.
However, if you have sole or primary custody over you children, you may
not withhold visitation from your ex if he or she fails to pay child support.
Withholding child visitation is considered a crime in California.
Mind Your Child Custody Obligations
Although co-parenting can be difficult after a divorce, it is important
for parents to respect the established
parenting plan and visitation schedule. If a parent sharing joint-custody has routinely demonstrated his or her
inability to stick to the parenting schedule, the court may modify the
custody order and award sole physical custody to the other parent. Conversely,
if a non-custodial parent can show the court that he or she has got their
act together, the court can modify its judgment and award joint physical custody.
Over 35 Years of Insights and Experience at Your Fingertips
For the past 35 years, I have seen how difficult it is for people to deal
with a divorce. While there are a lot of lessons you can learn from going
through a divorce, don’t learn the hard way. At the Law Offices
of Jeffrey S. Graff, my clients get the benefit of decades of divorce
If you have questions about the divorce process, contact me online, or
at (805) 633-4999 for a free initial consultation.