Our September Divorce Salon in Kelowna featured Connect’s very own Legal Advisor and Divorce Consultant, Crystal Hansen. After sharing her “top tips” for separating, Crystal led our Salon participants in a wide-ranging discussion covering everything from their personal experiences of separation to their perspective on how our legal system is evolving to better address the needs of separating couples and their children.
So that those who weren’t able to join us can still benefit from Crystal’s insight and expertise, here are a few highlights from the evening:
1. Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. We’ve all heard (and tried to follow) this tip. When it comes to separating from your spouse, it also applies (metaphorically, of course). In the context of separation, “hungry” can refer to many different emotional states: angry, sad, or guilty, to name a few. Whatever the feeling, the idea is to not make big decisions when you’re not in the right frame of mind to do so.
2. Wait before you press “send”. Whenever you are tempted to write something unpleasant to or about your ex – whether by text or email, or on social media – stop. Then, before you hit send, think about whether you would want a judge to see what you’ve written.
3. Get good advice. Seek out good legal advice early and often, even if you are managing the process yourself. Poor decisions made early on sometimes cannot be fixed later.
4. Know yourself and know your ex. You likely know your own triggers, and you’re probably also pretty familiar with what triggers your former spouse. Try to stay aware of when you are not in the best place mentally to be dealing with your separation, and avoid doing or saying things to your ex that will increase conflict and make the process longer and more costly.
5. Consider how smoothly your separation is likely to go. Your understanding of yourself and your ex also means that you are better positioned than anyone to anticipate how your separation will likely unfold: Will you almost certainly end up in court, or is there a chance of sitting at the kitchen table and hashing out the basics of a resolution yourselves? When you speak with a legal advisor, tell them your thoughts on this – it will help them give you better advice.
Have questions about your separation or divorce? Contact us!
And hope to see you at our next Divorce Salon.