Although going through a divorce is one of the hardest things I have had to endure, I learned that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even though you can’t see it now. I went through so much that I can tell you there is hope for all.
Let me start from the beginning, although we were already separated and living apart, receiving the initial letter from her lawyer still took me by surprise. I guess even though I knew this marriage was over, it didn’t seem official until I saw it in writing from a lawyer.
When I received the initial letter from her attorney, like most of you, I really didn’t know how to respond or what my next steps should be. I now know that when lawyers send you a letter requesting a response, they are attempting to gain additional information about you in order to use it against you in divorce court. Remember her lawyer has a job to do and although he or she may act like they are trying to help both sides, they have been hired by the other side and have every intention of compiling information against you to “win” their case.
Anger, fear and grief are still raw, and before you respond to anything with raw emotions take your time to read everything you receive at least 3 times. Her attorney is only here to help himself and her case. Trust me he will help himself if he thinks you can pay the bill.
During this process do not be afraid of anything that you receive, take your time to understand everything and to strategically plan your next steps. At one time you shared everything in your life with her it doesn’t matter what either one of you brought into or added to the marriage and if you made all the money or she did. Every dollar, every asset, is now considered both of yours until it can be split in two pieces. This seems like a simple explanation but there are a lot of factors that go into that.
Let me put it another way, you have a partner in your business and the bottom line she wants you to buy her out or her to buy you out. It sounds easy right? There is a total of 100 in the pot so I get 50 and she gets 50 but it doesn’t always work that way in divorce court. Her lawyer is going to attempt to prove that there is more than 100 in the pot and that she is entitled to more and all the judge needs is a simple reason to play against your side. It’s amazing how divorce court can be far from reality.
There will be times when it will feel like the walls are closing in on you and everything seems overly complicated. Try to utilize techniques that will help you deal with complex issues especially during stressful situations. In order to deal with everything that is being thrown at you, I found that it worked best to make an action list of what occurred and how I was going to respond to it in order to simplify things. I found this very helpful when I was stressed.
Always follow the rules of KISS, KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID, whenever you respond anything during the court process. Concentrate on only answering what you are asked, and do not provide additional information. Stick your action plan; in the end this will save you from dealing with additional aggravation and issues.