Will you marry me?  Do you remember those words?  When we first get married, we often think that we can conquer the world together!  At some point, the red roses glasses come off and we realize that marriage is hard work!  This is where we can put our heels in the ground or roll up our sleeves to do the nitty gitty work to make it through the storms because the storms will come and usually not to long after you say I do!  Below you will find ten things you need to know before you destroy your marriage!

1.  Divorce is hard. Your therapist may warn you to avoid using the “D” word in arguments, as once the word “divorce” comes into play, it cannot be taken back. It is scaring a relationship, and while a couple can restore themselves, starting the divorce process isn’t going to make all of your stress go away immediately. Divorce is hard; the battle can be long and painful – even if the case itself isn’t.

2.  Kids sometimes blame themselves when their parents’ divorce, and that can be a lifelong burden they carry. Seek guidance on how to discuss an upcoming separation or divorce with your children.  It is commonly stated that in family cases “good people act their worst.”

3.  There is a whirlwind of emotions that come into play.  It is normal to have these emotions, but be cautious about how these emotions make you act. Time and time again, kids get hurt, attorney fees become due, etc. when people cannot control their emotions.

4.  The grass usually isn’t always “greener on the other side”.

5.  The courts don’t care what a rat your spouse has been, they look at equitably dividing your assets and debts, and they usually don’t want to hear the intimate details of “who did what”.

6.  You can’t control who your partner picks after the divorce, and you children will probably have a new stepparent in the future.  For some, this reality comes sooner than later.  This is hard to process and accept, though there are many resources to help you through this transition.  No one really “wins.”

7.  The litigation structure falsely makes people think that there will inevitably be a winner and loser.  The reality is this is a painful, expensive process.  Adults and kids get hurt.

8.  Your monthly expenses double.  If you spend marital money in an affair, your spouse has the right to pursue repayment of their ½ of that spent money.

9.  Children, absent extreme circumstances, will have meaningful contact with both parents.  Many people want “sole custody” and, conversely, many believe that they are entitled to equal time sharing.  Knowing your judge may influence the likely outcome, but there is no “regular” or “normal” time sharing schedule.  The parties and court are to look at specific considerations in determining what is in the best interest of the kids.

10.  Try Orlando marriage counseling first…it is cheaper and can get to the root of the problem…not just eliminate out the thing you think is the problem.

Andrea PateAndrea joined Pates Law Group, P.A. in December 2012. She moved to Orlando to attend Barry University School of Law, where she received the Family and Child Concentration in conjunction with her Juris Doctorate. Due to her particular interest in building strong families, Andrea has also been certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Family Law Mediator and is also a Parenting Coordinator and Collaborative Law attorney. Andrea works diligently to help families work through conflict. Andrea recognizes that ensuring the best interest of the minor child often requires reducing the conflict and learning how to function effectively as a family during a after the legal process.  www.pateslaw.com