The best legal and emotional settlement starts by preparing for potential problems you could face when divorcing before you separate.  

Shark infested waters 

Avoid that divorce shark who's hungry for uninformed, soon-to-be divorcees.  This shark can represent one of many problems that can damage your chances for a successful settlement.  Unfortunately, these are shark infested waters.  It helps to have friends who have been through divorce.  DMK may not always keep trouble away, but we can prepare you so that you encounter less of it and conquer the rest.    

Make it a Priority

Learn all of the essentials of divorce first, then take our DMK Divorce Essentials test to determine your readiness to for divorce.  

DMK Divorce Essentials Explained

It's not always easy to plan a divorce or reconciliation.  Sometimes it may help to have some guidance.  DMK Divorce Essentials provides you with an idea of common elements of a marriage headed for divorce. 

Most readers will utilize the guide over the course of days, weeks or months.  So, don't get overwhelmed.  It's a lot to get through all at once.   The goal is to determine if divorce is right for you based on the problems in your marriage and provide general essentials of the separation and divorce process.  

It's prepared by people just like you, those who have considered and/or been through divorce.  Every divorce is different, so some things may not apply to your circumstances and/or some aspects may not be included.  Use what applies to you and your situation and discard the rest.  Seek professional guidance when you deem it necessary.

Ours is not meant to provide professional guidance.  Instead, it's meant to offer the foresight helpful in making informed decisions regarding the decision to- and management of- divorce.

What are emotional and legal divorce settlements?

Completing a divorce includes two important aspects.  A legal divorce settlement is the legal establishment of negotiated terms of the divorce (support, maintenance, asset and debt allocation, child custody agreement, etc.)  It becomes part of the Final Judgement of Divorce (divorce decree) which severs the couple's legal relationship as a married couple. 

If the couple cannot agree on the terms (to include mediation), then the case goes before a judge who then decides on all or a portion of the terms of the final judgement.

The emotional divorce settlement is a personal experience for each spouse.  The unofficial process includes multiple stages of divorce.  It's usually initiated with the couple's emotional divorce (when one or both spouses decide the marriage is over, usually the onset of the legal divorce). 

However, it can occur days, weeks, months or years prior to the beginning of the couple's decision to begin the legal journey to their marriage's end.  The emotional settlement is usually concluded after the individual has come to terms with the end of their marriage. 

Nearly anyone who divorces will need some emotional reconciling before, during or after the divorce. However, the emotional settlement is often ignored because it has no formal (documented) initiation or conclusion like that of your actual legal journey which often consumes both spouses.  This may be the reason so many of those who go through divorce have such a high probability of another divorce if married a second or third time.

Most divorcees go through a grief cycle and/or Stages of Divorce that include the final stages that represent letting go and acceptance. 

Why this matters...

The divorce settlement and/or Final Judgement of Divorce is what most legal professionals refer to when establishing the terms of the legal divorce.  However, the process of the emotional settlement can last much longer than the average legal divorce. 

It's subjective nature can cause many individuals to fail to reach the final stage, leaving them in a fractured state of well-being and inability to develop new lasting relationships, free of many issues that originally caused the divorce. They may carry a great deal of emotional pain associated with their marriage, spouse or divorce.  Until they resolve these negative hinderances and their precipitators, they will continue to disrupt their life and relationships.  A trained therapist is very helpful in these circumstances.  

Most people don't want to live, eat and breathe their divorce while going through it.  However, establishing priorities regarding the emotional process in an effort to shed the negative emotions experienced prior to, during and after the divorce will allow each spouse the capacity to manage the complexities of the legal case with less stress and emotional hinderances.  

Establishing a strong understanding of the divorce process may help reduce the common stressors associated with a divorce.  This may increase your overall potential for a successful settlement (legal and emotional).  

Professionals that may help include: legal representatives, mediators, appraisers, forensic accountants, financial advisors, real estate professionals, counselors and therapists.  Some of these professional can be found on the DMK Directory.

Want to know if you're prepared for a separation, emotional or legal divorce and what comes after divorce?

Review the DMK Divorce Essentials

Then take the DMK Separation Essentials Test or DMK Divorce Essentials Test

Not sure if you are ready for all of this?

Take the Marriage Essentials Test 

Find out if your marriage can pass the test despite current challenges or if you are on your way to divorce. It can help you determine if:

  • your marriage has a bad attitude
  • one spouse feels drastically different than the other
  • you both agree on specific marriage traits
  • you need specific attention to problem areas in the marriage
  • one or both spouses are unhappy with specific issues
  • the marriage needs a professional therapist
  • your marriage is healthy and happy or on it's way to divorce


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