Photo of Karen Lavin

Like marriage, divorce is a big decision that creates many more important choices such as the amount of alimony to be paid, property division and child custody, support and visitation. To address these important questions, Illinois residents may benefit from the following advice.

Start by making sure divorce is the right choice. This is often harder than it seems because the decision seldom arises from a lightning bolt or some other clear sign that the time is right. Instead, it requires weighing whether the bad starts to consistently outweigh the good. If it does, and it appears that trend will likely get worse over time, it may be time to seek a new beginning.

Once the decision has been made, think about the long term effects. Remember that often a couple will have to co-exist for years or decades to come, especially when children are involved. Given that arc, be kind to the other spouse. It will usually pay dividends down the line.

In keeping with that sentiment, it may help to view divorce as a business transaction. The parties entered into a marital contract. That contract was no longer a net benefit for both parties, so it was time to dissolve the contract. Looking at divorce as a business transaction aimed at raising future utility for both sides can de-personalize the event and help stave off unhelpful emotions.

Lastly, consider talking to an experienced divorce attorney. Doing so can be an essential ingredient for successfully navigating the legal side of the divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, “Laura Wasser, Celebrity Divorce Lawyer, Shares Top 10 Rules Divorcing Couples Should Follow,” Ashley Reich, Oct. 5, 2013