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5 Lessons I Learned From My Divorce

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There are some things you can’t understand until you’ve been through them yourself. Divorce is one of those things.

As a divorce attorney, I’ve come to realize that my legal knowledge isn’t the only thing I have to offer my clients. Because I’ve been through a divorce myself, I can empathize with the people I serve, offering them a balance of guidance and understanding.

I can also share some of the biggest lessons I learned during my own divorce. Here are five of them.

1. You Only Control Yourself

When you’re in the middle of a divorce, it’s easy to feel powerless. Your spouse might behave like a completely different person. You might find that what you thought was going to be a quick, simple process has become something entirely different.

As a divorced person and a divorce attorney, I’ve learned that while you can hope for the best in a divorce, you should always plan for the worst.

2. Continued Communication Is Important

Your soon-to-be ex might be the last person you want to talk to when you’re going through the process of divorce. But it’s important to keep communicating so that the process can be seen through to the end.

If either or both parties choose not to use the services of an attorney (as my ex and I did), then it’s up to them to collaborate and make sure they correctly navigate the process. A mistake can result in delays, loss of property that one spouse may be entitled to, and even dismissal of the case and having to start at the beginning. And even if they do use attorneys, communicating between them on issues that can be agreed on will make everything much more smooth, fast, and cheap for everyone involved.

3. Divorce Is Not a Surrender or a Loss: It’s Peace

You may have fought hard to save your marriage, and divorce can feel like giving up or losing the fight. But this is not the case.

If you only think about the pain and the sadness of divorce, you’ll miss the opportunity to pursue a new chapter of your life. Most people who turn to divorce do so because they realize that their relationship can’t be salvaged, so ending it gives them the freedom to make a fresh start. Remember: getting divorced is not a surrender. It’s deciding to engage in peace talks when you realize the war cannot be won through fighting for a victory that will never come. And this is painful in the short term for most people, but it is definitely better than continuing a war that will never end. Peace is peace, whether it is achieved through victory or a treaty. Divorce is simply the latter category.

4. Emotions Impact the Process

You might be a highly objective person in your day-to-day life. However, when you’re dealing with something as emotionally challenging as divorce, even the world’s most objective person will have at least somewhat clouded judgment.

This helps me better understand my clients. From the outside, it might seem like a client is making an illogical demand or overreacting. Having experienced the wrenching feeling of divorce myself helped me learn how to treat clients with the patience and grace they deserve. Part of the role of an attorney is to bring the client back to the ground and temper expectations that are unrealistic because they’re coming from a place of emotion. And that’s OK.

5. Hire an Attorney

Whether a couple has no children or substantial assets or is a power couple with properties around the country, having an attorney only helps in the process. They know how to make sure all the bases are covered and ensure that you leave the marriage prepared to start a new life.

As mentioned, my ex and I did our divorce without lawyers (though I was a law student at the time). Learn from my mistake. Due to not knowing the process, my ex almost got the case dismissed instead of resolved. Fortunately, I was able to make sure that things got back on track, and the divorce was eventually granted. Divorce attorneys cost money, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A divorce lawyer can prevent errors in the process that can become much more expensive or burdensome down the road.

Learning and Moving On

Divorce is a learning experience, and once you’ve been through it, you’ll find yourself with hard-won wisdom. You learn the importance of determining what it is you want for yourself and working toward that goal. It’s always a good idea to have a knowledgeable divorce lawyer by your side, too.

Client Testimonials

Here's what our clients have to say about working with us. Please note, results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Melinda Previtera, Esq. came highly recommended to our family. Her knowledge base, professionalism, and compassion paved the way for a successful outcome. Melinda is efficient, detailed, and informative. She helps manage expectations, and postures her client for a fair and equitable result. We are happy to recommend Melinda!

Jennifer A.

My experience was very good. Everyone was professional and attentive to my needs, keeping me updated every step of the way. I couldn’t ask for a better result, highly recommended.

David R.

My marriage life has been a hell for me for the past four years until I decided to put an end to what has to be ended. Choosing a lawyer was another additional stressful part of the long process. I’m so glad that I’ve found the right one for me at Petrelli Previtera. Life isn’t always fair, but at least having her in my corner, felt even better. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

Caitlin B.

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