Longtime Chicago-area family law attorney Raiford Dalton Palmer has outlined five ways to avoid common psychological traps while getting a divorce.
In his new book, “I Just Want This Done: How Smart Successful People Get Divorced Without Losing Their Kids, Money and Minds” now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, Palmer argues that people getting a divorce often lose sight of the big picture and end up hurting their children, dragging out legal proceedings and sapping their bank account.
“The very fact that you’re getting a divorce means that you’ve probably already gotten into some unhealthy patterns with your spouse,” said Palmer. “But if you continue with that same behavior during a divorce, you’re only going to make everything worse.”
Get a counselor.
Having an objective person to discuss the divorce and challenges with your kids can be helpful, said Palmer. “As lawyers, we get a lot of questions from clients that are more emotional than legal,” he said. “It’s a lot cheaper and more effective to talk those out with a qualified mental health professional.”
Badmouthing your spouse may feel gratifying in the moment, but it can have serious consequences, Palmer said. “Badmouthing can easily get back to your spouse, derailing a settlement or dragging out a divorce,” he said. “And badmouthing to the kids can do long-lasting damage to them — and to your relationship with them.”
Get off social media.
Palmer said divorcing couples need a kind-of Miranda warning: Anything you post can and will be used against you. “Either go dark on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or avoid saying anything negative about your family,” he said. “And definitely do not post photos of you partying when you were supposed to be taking care of the kids.”
Do a cost-benefit analysis.
Palmer said that divorcing couples will often want to win a legal case so much that they overlook a perfectly acceptable settlement. He recommends adopting a strict cost-benefit analysis to all of your decisions and be ready to cut your losses if a strategy isn’t working out.
Tread lightly with a new significant other.
Palmer said that some people going through a divorce may quickly find a new significant other, but they should be very cautious in talking about them or posting on social media to avoid stirring up more conflict. “It’s a good idea to delay any introductions at least until the divorce is final whenever possible,” he said. Palmer recommends keeping a new relationship quiet especially with children and seeking the advice of a counselor about the best time and manner to introduce them.
So worth your time: I saw the pre-release announcement for this book on social media and the title grabbed my attention immediately. I had dropped out of a failed attempt at a collaborative divorce and had to start again with a new attorney. While I’m not quite over the finish line, I have learned much from both processes. This book captured everything for me about what went wrong in the first process and what was right about the second, including my own evolution in thinking along the way. The quicker you can evolve your thinking, from a place of hurt and indignation to getting this done smartly and “rightly,” the better. This book will get you there. Can’t recommend it more highly. – Allison L
Must read: I wish I had read this sooner. This book was filled with so much valuable information and made everything so much more clear. – Mike
If you are starting the divorce process or in the divorce process, you need this book!: Written by a lion in the divorce field, this book is a must read for anyone thinking about divorce or going through divorce. Attorney Palmer has the both practical experience and common sense to give you the invaluable insight of a highly successful lawyer. – Joshua V
Read more reviews here.
Learn more about Palmer’s new book “I Just Want This Done,” here.
Book images from: facebook.com/IJustWantThisDone