Jay Hait
American Israeli Family Law Attorney

Why is keeping a diary a helpful tool if you’re considering divorce?

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You’ve been unhappy for a long time. Counselling hasn’t helped. Your work product is suffering. You’ve tried talking to your spouse. You wake up sad every day and your kids are reacting to the tension between their parents.

When you’ve come to the point where you are seriously considering divorce, even if you expect it to be settled amicably out of court, there is a very important first step you can take that may ease your path considerably. And that is to keep a divorce preparation/evaluation diary.

There are three advantages to keeping a diary like this.

  • Organizing your thoughts helps you process your feelings.

When you’re considering divorce, there are so many thoughts that go through your head. “If I stay in an unhappy marriage it could hurt my kids.” “Will I ever remarry?” “I don’t want to feel like a failure.”  “Can I make it financially on my own?” “Can I afford to pay child support?” The advantage of getting all these thoughts down in a diary are twofold. a) You don’t have to carry them around in your head, churning your emotions with no direction. b) You can address each thought and question separately in order to find the answers.

  • Writing down your feelings helps you defuse frustration and anger.

It’s a proven therapeutic tool to get our thoughts and feelings down on paper. It helps to get control of our emotions, slowing down knee-jerk reactions, especially those that occur when a couple has reached the point where divorce is being considered. When emotions are diffused one is less likely to be aggressive, either verbally or physically. Both actions in the heat of the moment, could result in a call to the police and/or being ejected from the home. These kinds of circumstances could really harm your case especially if you’re seeking custody of your children.

  • Collecting all your personal information enables you to move forward quickly and more smoothly.

For the process of divorce whether you are using a comprehensive divorce agreement or you are forced to fight it out in court, you will need to gather basic information about yourself and your family. This includes all your financial records and ownership documents. (Just to note: I always recommend a comprehensive divorce agreement whenever possible. Winding up in litigation in court is both destructive for your family and very costly.)

The bonuses of utilizing the diary are threefold.

  • You will have an outlet for your emotions and frustrations.
  • You won’t have to go searching for the documents and details you’ll need to file for divorce.
  • In the event you have entered litigation, a lot of the work you’ll have to do will have already been done.

You won’t be forced to do it during one of the most stressful times in your life.

With all of these things in mind, divide your divorce evaluation/preparation diary into 4 sections to help you keep track of everything you’ll need, going forward, no matter which situation you are in.

1) Gather and organize personal information about yourself and your family.

2) Record events before you ever file anything – arguments, social worker or school problems, police visits, and really anything else that gets you angry or upset.

3) Similar to the second with more details to be used if and after legal proceedings have begun.

4) Track all your financial information.

Keeping a divorce evaluation/preparation diary will help you be better prepared if you are considering divorce.

-You can download Jay Hait’s FREE Divorce Preparation/Evaluation Diary here. If you have questions about getting divorced in Israel you can email Jay Hait directly at  jay.hait@orcheidin.co.il.  Or call (077) 200-8161 in Israel and (201) 696 – 3947 in the USA. Jay Hait has offices in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Raanana and Jerusalem. http://israeldivorcelawyer.com/

About the Author
Soon after returning to Israel with his family fom a 14 year hiatus in the US, American born and bred attorney Jay Hait went through a vicious divorce exposing him to the dark side of family law in Israel. When it was all over and he came out with custody over his young children, Jay switched from corporate to family law because he knew that there had to be a better way -even within the confines of the Israeli legal system.
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