Many people find themselves on the bad end of a divorce proceeding because they let things happen around them. Instead, you should actively participate and take control of the situation. Don't let things just happen, be proactive. Here's a few things you should consider.

1. Learn the Laws and What's At Stake

No one should go into a divorce proceeding with preconceived notions. The laws governing divorce vary from state to state. Occasionally, there are even differences at a county level. While you should certainly speak with a lawyer, you should also familiarize yourself with what's at stake.

  • Look up divorce proceedings in your area
  • See what the courts expect of you
  • Learn how alimony and child support work
  • Learn how financial filing works
  • Learn which assets you must disclose

A huge mistake is to let these things come at you from the other party. You shouldn't learn what's at stake from a judge or a court order. You should know as much as you can beforehand. Don't believe what others tell you about divorce unless they're professionals. Verify everything yourself.

2. Seek Out Real Legal Advice or Representation

It's important that you do your own research, but don't assume you know everything you need to know. Remember that divorce is a legal proceeding, and like most things involving law, it's best to have professional legal advice. Look for a family law or divorce lawyer.

This will work even better if you use the services of a local lawyer. You want information that's pertinent to your specific circumstances. You also need to know how divorce proceedings typically happen locally.

Sometimes, the lawyer may already know the temperament of the local judges and how to present things to the local courts on your behalf. At the very least you should consult a lawyer for advice about what you can and should do.

3. Speak To Your Spouse

It's very easy to turn a divorce into a battle. Instead, you should think about cooperation. If you and your spouse can figure out a few things on your own, it will make everything else far easier. Don't go the stubborn route. Even if you're on bad terms with your spouse, it's worth it to open dialogue.

Dialogue can help you see what the other party is thinking, what they're seeking, and what common ground there is. You may think it's impossible, but if you take the initiative to have a talk, you may be able to work out a lot without the need of a judge or court.

Being Proactive Takes Initiative

No matter what side of the proceedings you're on, you should take the initiative. Learn the process, speak up about things, don't let events happen without your awareness or input. If you run into something you don't understand, ask your divorce lawyer. Remember that hiring a professional to learn more about this topic is also a part of being proactive with your divorce.