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Divorce is undoubtedly a difficult time for parties involved. Here, we consider some common Dos and Don’ts during a divorce…

Don’t use your children as a weapon. If you have children, it is so important that they are not brought into your divorce. You are a role model for your children and the impact of a bitter divorce can be devastating for them. The needs of your children need to be put first.

Don’t think you are going to take the other person “to the cleaners”. That’s not going to happen. Divorce is about finding an solution which is fair. Clearly, what’s deemed as “fair” may differ from one situation to another. It is important to note, however, it is highly unlikely either party will receive “everything” and the other be left with nothing.

Don’t try to hide money or assets. Full and honest disclosure of your assets is essential. Being found to hide money or assets will not be seen favourably by the Court.

Don’t build up unrealistic expectations. No matter how difficult your divorce is from your spouse, it is important that you as realistic and pragmatic as possible. Whilst this can be difficult during what is an emotional time, it is important that you focus on what is important for you. That approach is likely to narrow the issues and ultimately, reduce time and costs.

Don’t listen too much to others. You may find that everyone you know is an expert. They may even give“advice”, they may even stir things up between you and your former partner. Ultimately, listen to your family solicitor for pragmatic and realistic advice.

Do think about your options There are many options for divorce, including collaborative law and mediation. You need to think what the best option is for you. It isn’t about going straight to Court, an amicable agreement can often be reached through negotiation between your respective solicitors.

Do be honest - it is really important that your solicitor has all the relevant information before them. Hiding things may lead to delays and increased costs later down the line.

Do think beyond the current issues to finding long term solutions This, of course, can be incredibly difficult. Many people, however, find that years down the line, after the bitterness, they are able to communicate. Whilst this may not be the case for every divorcee, if it is possible, it will serve you well in the long run.

Do seek help from other professionals where it may be helpful; Dependent on your circumstances, you may find that types of counselling, parenting classes and domestic abuse support assist you through your divorce.

Do find the right solicitor for you It is important that you are able to have a good, working relationship with your solicitor during your divorce.