A few years back, National Geographic aired a show about doomsday preppers.  While many of us may have watched and wondered how people could get to that point, we can all agree when going into a stressful unknown, preparation is key. A North Dakota divorce or Minnesota Divorce is that type of situation.

Despite that fact, many people come in with various preconceived notions and beliefs about the divorce process.  Some are based upon what happened to their friend or cousin, others come from a horror story on the internet.  Many of these thoughts are not based in what actually occurs in a divorce.  When people come in with solid beliefs about what they are sure will happen, only to have those beliefs shattered, it can be difficult for the party to recover from.  That is why a little knowledge can go a long way.

For example, many a client has sat down across from me and said, with absolute certainty, that because the other party is not on the mortgage, he or she is not entitled to the home or any share of its equity.  In North Dakota, that is simply not the case.  Other well-meaning clients come in and tell me that their son or daughter just turned 14 and gets to decide where to live.  Again, well-meaning, but wrong.

So how can you avoid being one of these people with these beliefs?  By following these simple steps:

  1. Do your homework:  Read blogs and websites (like this one).  Harvest as much information as you can about areas that might affect you and your case.
  2. Don’t listen to the “Theys”:  The Theys are people out there who went through what you sure going through and had a horrible experience or did something that they are sure will work for you case. Theys aren’t you.  You and your case are unique.
  3. If you have to ask yourself, “should I do this?’  DON’T DO IT!  Everything can matter in a divorce action.  If you think something is going to come back and hurt you, it probably will.
  4. DO rely on friends and family for support. They know you and your situation better than almost anyone.  Talk with them, lean on them, and make sure you don’t isolate yourself.
  5. Gather your own documents and information for your attorney.  You can rely on the attorney to get this information if you want, but you are paying for his or her time.  You are often your own best paralegal.
  6. Most importantly, understand that something will go wrong at some point.  You will need to adjust and deal with it.  It may be something big or something relatively small, but not everything will go according to plan.  Hope for the best, but always be prepared for the worst.

These simple steps may not mean that you have a smooth divorce (see #6 above) but it will make the process easier and more understandable for you.