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Why keeping your emotions in check is vital in a divorce

When a person is in the middle of divorce proceedings, they may find themselves coping with a wide range of emotions that are far from pleasant. Indeed, many people can experience everything from anger and anxiety to sadness and even relief all in the span of a single settlement discussion.

With emotions running this high, it's understandable how people's judgment sometimes become clouded, leading them to make decisions that they wouldn't otherwise make or aren't in their best interest.

For example, a person may insist on keeping the marital home during the divorce negotiations despite the fact that it will involve mortgage payments, property taxes and regular upkeep, making it more of an albatross than an asset. Worse yet, people may make shortsighted decisions at the expense of inherently more valuable assets like retirement accounts.

It's precisely because of possibilities like these that experts recommend that divorcing parties consider retaining the services of an experienced and dedicated legal professional who can provide invaluable guidance and much-needed perspective.

Interestingly, they also recommend that those parties going through a divorce take the relatively simple step of sitting down to develop straightforward objectives addressing both their long-term goals and short-term needs.

While this may seem like a difficult prospect, particularly when a person is on such an emotional rollercoaster, experts indicate that it can provide their attorney with a clearer picture and help get them closer to where they want to be going forward.

"With clear objectives, you will have a very useful head start in getting your life going again after the divorce because your settlement is more likely to fit your long-term goals," said one financial professional.

Lastly, once this clearer mindset is achieved, experts suggest that people carefully consider how they want their divorce to proceed, remembering that it doesn't have to be a full-fledged legal battle. Indeed, there are divorce alternatives that are equally effective as litigation, but which are also less time-consuming, less expensive and less stressful.

To learn more about all that the divorce process entails -- property division, spousal support, child support, child custody -- consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

Source: The Wall Street Journal Market Watch, "Divorce isn't just about the money grab," Larry Stein, July 28, 2014

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