Expectations When Filing For A Divorce

couple after verbal argument with arms crossed

couple after verbal argument with arms crossed

Just like any other court action, a divorce case commences once a complaint or a petition is filed. This document sets forth the basis for action, and what the plaintiff (party bringing the action) wants from the defendant.  So, what can you expect after filing for divorce?

Don’t Expect to Win the Case

Most people file for a divorce and expect to automatically “beat” their spouse. But in reality, there’s hardly ever a true winner in a divorce. Divorce cases commonly involve a lot of issues, including child support, custody, and division of property. Each party in the divorcing couple rarely ends up with everything they want. For instance, while one person might be awarded the primary custody of children, they’ll probably receive a much lower child/spousal support amount than they initially requested. In such a case, it’s difficult to tell who won, so trying to “win” the case can be futile.

Don’t Make Important Decisions Quickly

During a divorce, chances are that you are going to make a few life changing decisions. For example, you might need to decide if you’re going to sell the family home or not. Resist the urge of making a rash decision just to get over the case. When making such important decisions, take your time and consider all the potential consequences. Otherwise, you might put the future of your children at risk, and complicate the case even further.

Expectations With a Cooperative Spouse

If you and your spouse are on good terms, and if you have children you prioritize their best interests above everything else, then you’ve taken huge steps towards resolving much of your case. In such a situation, once you file for a divorce, each of you should get professional family law attorneys to make the communications between the two of you efficient and no-nonsense.

Please avoid trying to resolve or handle these issues on your own. Child custody cases for instance, can result in unintended consequences, especially if you don’t draft the settlement agreement properly, as it ultimately becomes the court order.

Your divorce lawyer will be more skillful at handling this, and you should expect him or her to resolve issues such as joint legal custody quickly. Keep in mind that the issue of joint custody is a no-brainer as long as each of you has agreed to keep regular and frequent contact with the children.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a 50-50 agreement, though it’s the more preferred custody arrangement in cases where two other parents who have about an equal time to spend with the children. With your help, each of your attorneys will work out a special day, holiday, or vacation schedule so that every party has an efficient and predictable schedule to work with.

Expectations with Non-cooperative Spouse

Although these cases don’t always go to court, they usually do start from that direction. If you have a contested child custody case with an unreasonable partner, expect filing for child custody orders almost immediately.

If your spouse is also trying to obtain a custody order with the children, waiting is probably the worst thing you can do. The longer your children spend with the unreasonable partner, the more difficult it gets to have regular and frequent contact with your kids.

Expect having to show the other partner that you’re also serious about your children, and that you’re willing to put the case in a court to make the decision. Furthermore, expect to pay considerable amounts for this, though your children will be well worth it, especially if you want to have a long-term assurance and peace moving forward.

Avoid Unrealistic Expectations

Sometimes, the divorcing couple might find themselves with unreasonable goals, some of which are inconsistent with the law. So, if you want your case to resolve as quickly as possible, understand how the law applies to your case, and create reasonable expectations from the outcome. A family law attorney can come in handy here.


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