Divorcing your husband or wife should never be taken lightly, and the process of doing so is one that can affect the rest of your life. This is why, even for you bashful people-pleasers (you know who you are), it's important to stand up for yourself every step of the way and not to let people take advantage of you, whether it's your attorney or your ex-spouse. Below are three common situations that many divorcees will run into where you shouldn't be afraid to say "no":
Even though lawyers are experts and have seen hundreds of divorce cases, don't be afraid to disagree with them. At the end of the day, while their suggestions can be helpful, only you know what's going to be right for you. You should always consider these suggestions rationally, but it's crucial to have an open and transparent relationship with your attorney. Tell them exactly what you're looking for in terms of alimony, child support, custody and equitable distribution. They are paid to fight for you. This goes for dealing with your spouse as well. Don't settle for less than you deserve. That being said, remember that reaching a settlement involves compromise on both sides, so try to be sensible even if your spouse is not.
Unreasonable Interim Alimony
Interim alimony is awarded to you as a financial resource to maintain a certain lifestyle while your divorce is finalized. This type of support will come from your spouse, granted that he or she was your financial backbone throughout the marriage. This aspect of divorce is important, as proceedings can take years to bring to a head. Take the time to logically evaluate what you need. Avoid being greedy, but don't be shy in explaining or defending what it costs to run your life.
Don't be afraid to say no to unreasonable offers in custody agreements or any that seem illogical. For example, if you know that your spouse spends a lot of time traveling and won't be around to take care of the children in harmony with your agreement, put up a fight. Backing down and accepting a situation that you're not comfortable with will only end up upsetting you and disappointing your children for a long time coming.
- Co-authored by Brendan Lyle and Rachel Reda