Making divorce a smooth transition to single life

For a lot of unhappily married people in California, divorce is the end of an error. In most endings, there is always a touch of sadness, but if your marriage has been a source of drastic discomfort for some time, you will more likely be sighing from relief than crying from heartbreak.

If, on the other hand, most of the years you spent with your spouse were happy ones, you will probably experience a gamut of emotions -- everything from sadness, grief and anger to finally accepting that your marriage or partnership is has run its course -- whether that is a few months or many years. 

Divorce is as unique as your union

All marriages are reflective of the two individuals in them, and so, not all separations or divorces will be the same either. However, there are some things counselors advise you to do to ensure the divorce process proceeds as smoothly as possible. By the same token, there are things advisors suggest you avoid, and these "mistakes," as it were, could put a snag in the divorce process.

So, if you've packed up your bags and have decided to leave your spouse, here are some common errors you should avoid at all costs, according to those who counsel divorced couples.

1. Letting emotions fuel the fire

Divorce is a volatile situation. Amicable agreements are never reached with raised voices or tear-stained faces. As much as possible, emotions should be kept out of divorce negotiations. If you have problems maintaining a level head at the negotiating table, perhaps it would be prudent to enlist the help of a counselor who will help you to vent your emotions prior to negotiation proceedings. 

2. Not being forthcoming about finances

Finances are a big part of the divorce equation, and if you aren't honest about things like debt and assets, it could put a kink in the process. Be sure to be up front when it comes to things like budgets, expenses and your lifestyle.

3. Not leaving the past in the past

Letting go. It's a big thing when it comes to discussing the future as single individuals. Experts say you should try to focus on the future with a positive outlook. This is also another area where counseling might be of benefit to you. 

4. Taxes? What taxes?

Decisions made during a divorce will affect the tax picture of your situation. Remember that the IRS can have an impact on investments, property and any transfer of money. Financial matters like these must be discussed.

5. Not making concessions

Refusing to budge on issues, especially when children are involved, can make matters even more stressful. A peaceful resolution does not include the "my way or the highway" mindset. It only leads to further frustration. Give and take in divorce negotiations is essential.

6. Not finding out what options are available to you prior to starting the process

You may believe you will have to go through a long court process to come to any kind of consensus with your ex. There are more amicable options available when it comes to the divorce process. This is where a savvy legal team can come into play. Divorce can be a challenge, but it can also be relatively peaceful if you know what options are available and what they entail.

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