For most spouses, a divorce proceeding is complicated and stressful. This may be an emotionally difficult time for you (and your spouse), and those emotions often get in the way of a smooth divorce agreement. Without a smooth divorce agreement, many couples feel drained, and the process may take much longer than expected and cause even more challenges within the family.
How can you avoid this and create a faster, smoother journey throughout the divorce process? One key is to reduce emotion and personal conflict during negotiations. Here are a few ways you can do this in order to make the process easier on yourself and your family.
1. Find the Right Attorney
You can choose from many available divorce attorneys, so don’t choose the first one who comes along. You need a person on your team with whom you share a sense of understanding and can communicate well. Look for a lawyer who will find out what your goals are and has solid, positive methods for reaching those goals.
If you want a smooth and simple divorce, avoid an attorney who goads more conflict out of the proceedings than is necessary. While assertiveness is often needed during some parts of the negotiation, let your representatives know what your priorities are and work with him or her to avoid becoming sidetracked on the wrong priorities.
2. Hire a Mediator
Mediators are trained professionals who sit down with the two divorcing parties to help them hammer out a mutually beneficial agreement. The reason mediation works well for those who want a fair outcome for everyone is that the goal is not to create a “winner” and a “loser.” Rather, the goal is for everyone to win a little, to give a little, and to find a positive compromise they can work with.
You can use a mediator for just one contentious part of the divorce — such as alimony or custody — to keep one issue from derailing the entire proceeding.
3. Be Business-Like
Divorce is very personal, which often causes more problems. One or both spouses could feel personally attacked, could act spitefully, or may be too emotionally invested to compromise. The best way to reach an agreement in a healthy manner is to take some of that personal attachment out of the process. How?
The answer is to be more business-like. Communicate in less personal ways — such as email, mail, and your attorney — rather than through texts or one-on-one conversations. If discussions become heated, agree to stop the discussion and resume it at a later time. Treat the negotiation process as a business transaction rather than an assault on your character or choices.
4. Get Personal Counseling
A counselor or therapist is a good idea for many people going through the dissolution of a marriage. After all, this is a time of great upheaval and of starting over. You deserve some professional assistance working through your own anger, worries for the future, feelings of failure, and even grief for the ending marriage.
If you can meet with a counselor to deal with your own emotions, you are less likely to let those emotions cause trouble during the legal process.
5. Build Your New Circle
When extricating yourself from a long marriage, you may find that much of your life is still entwined with your marriage and spouse. Do your circle of friends, daily habits, personal routines, and sources of advice involve your future ex? If so, work to separate your new life from your old one.
Physical distance (such as knowing who to call when the toilet breaks) as well as emotional distance (not having friends who take sides, for instance) will help you find healthy space.
If you can apply just a few of these steps to make your divorce process less personal, you will surely see the benefit — emotionally, financially, and in the time invested. At Thomas, Adams & Associates, we are ready to help you meet your needs and goals during a divorce. Call today to make an appointment with our experienced family law attorneys.
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