Expectations are important in your divorce process. However you navigate the system (litigation, mediation, or collaborative law), it is important to keep your expectations in check. Your attorney can be particularly helpful in this regard. This is why it is very important to trust your attorney – they are not only your advocate, but your guide through the process. They are responsible for managing your expectations. Here is what you need to remember about expectations.
First, we must have reasonable expectations of the process and the outcome. Our expectations cannot be unworkable. We cannot expect to have every need met in the divorce, but we can expect to be listened to and move forward in a respectful way. Collaborative divorce particularly helps meet these goals.
Once we have reasonable expectations, then we must make sure our expectations are communicated to the person whom we expect something from – your spouse. For example, if we expect our children to help with chores around the house (a reasonable expectation), we must make sure they know what we expect of them. No one can live up to unknown expectations. The divorce process is not that different. Often additional strain and stress comes from not knowing what is expected of you. The divorce will often move forward more smoothly if all expectations and goals are discussed at the beginning of the process.
Finally, there must be a consequence if our expectations are not met. Often in divorce, the consequence for not meeting expectations is emotional - we become angry or sad or frustrated. It is okay to feel this way. Your attorney should help you move through the process while acknowledging the consequences of unmet expectations but also making progress towards a final resolution that will work for you both.
Call Kimberly if you would like to learn more about the divorce process and learn how your expectations can be managed throughout the process and beyond.