Don’t fight through the courts. There are circumstances where there is no other choice, but if you can, avoid it. Litigation eats away at your money and dignity and causes more stress than alternative dispute resolution methods, and in the end, the results may be a lot worse that mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods.
Innovate with ideas, try to think outside the box when it comes to solutions. Divorce is hard, and many people go down the well-trodden road of using the solutions (visitation and financial agreements that many have used before), see yourselves as individuals and not the couple who are divorcing to find the solution that works best for your family.
Validate your feelings and those of your family. Allow yourself some time to cry and to grieve for your marriage. When emotions are given their place, they are less likely to erupt at other times.
Organize yourself, practically and financially, find out all you can about how your life works. Have all your financial details to hand such as income, expenditure, investments and any debts. Find out how much rent is in a new apartment? How much houses in your area are worth, or how you could extend the mortgage to a longer loan period, all these details will set you up for negotiations in a strong position of knowledge.
Reach out for support. There are many organizations that can help you work out your rights as a single parent, and/or help you take control of your finances and guide you through the process of divorce, it won’t help your heart heal faster but it will help you deal with the practical day to day matters.
Call a lawyer, not to start litigating but to find out what your rights are. Any good family mediator will tell you that it is a good idea to take independent legal advice, since the mediator (because he or she acts for both of you) is a neutral person and should not offer you legal advice.
End your marriage with dignity, this does not mean you should cede on points that are important to you, but even when you are fighting hard, you can still retain your better self. Hopefully, this hard period in your life will soon end and you will be able to start looking forward to a positive future.
Hadassah Fidler LLB qualified as a lawyer in the UK and then retrained as a licensed mediator both in England and in Israel. She currently resides in Jerusalem, Israel, where she has a mediation practice specialising in mediation for English speakers.