Birmingham, Mich. – Dec. 1, 2014 – January is one of the most popular months for couples to file for divorce – which means many people spend the holidays contemplating divorce. Jessica Woll, managing partner of Woll & Woll, P.C., a Michigan-based divorce and family law practice with a niche expertise in complex family law issues, provides tips on how to have the ‘perfect’ divorce and reduce stress this holiday season.
“I do not take the issue of divorce lightly and I know the pain involved in making the decision to end a marriage,” Woll said. “But if you’re headed in the direction of divorce, from a divorce attorney’s perspective, there are four ways to help reduce stress this holiday season and strive for a ‘perfect’ divorce.”
1. When children are involved, both parties must understand divorce is a process.
“If dissolving the marriage is harder on one spouse, the stronger of the two should allow the other spouse to grieve and honor the fact that settlement discussions should occur only after the shock of the divorce dissipates and the dust settles,” Woll said. “Consider resolving emotionally charged issues with the help of a family therapist, recognizing the focus is not on salvaging the marriage but on divorcing with dignity.”
Woll also suggests focusing on the positive aspects, not the negative.
“Kindness can be shown by thanking one’s spouse for all the good things that he/she brought into the other spouse’s life,” Woll said. “Never air dirty family laundry in a public forum. This will always, always hurt not only one’s soon-to-be ex-spouse, but also any children involved.”
2. A ‘perfect’ divorce can also be one where each spouse lives in close proximity to the other and the doors to each parent’s home are open to the children to enable them to travel back and forth freely between the two households.
“By living close by, each parent can also be welcomed into the other’s house and treated warmly by the ex-spouse,” Woll said. “The parents continue to show love and respect for one another and the children sense a unified front from their parents regarding their health, safety and welfare.”
3. Remain ‘child centric’ and put the needs of the children first.
“This means parents share holidays and important events in their children’s lives, always schedule parenting time and activities that best serve the children and do not count how many days the child spends under the other parent’s roof,” Woll said.
Remaining child-centric can also relate to the division of property, says Woll.
“Equally divide whatever property was accumulated during the marriage. Each spouse should retain the separate property they brought into the marriage or what they obtained by gift or inheritance. However, putting the needs of the children first might include property provisions that provide stability for the children, such as owning the marital home jointly until the youngest child graduates from high school, even though one spouse will have exclusive use of the home until the sale,” Woll said.
4. Aim for what is best for one’s ex after the divorce because the ex remains on the family’s team.
“What is good for one’s ex is always good for the children. Make sure to stand on the sidelines and cheer your ex on for the rest of your life,” Woll said.
About Woll & Woll, P.C.
Celebrating 20 years as a firm in 2014, Woll & Woll, P.C. specializes in divorce and family law, including legal separation, post-judgment of divorce matters, removal of domicile actions, stepparent adoption, custody, child support, paternity and other family issues. Learn more at http://www.wollandwollpc.com.