Divorce Lawyers’ Tips for
A More Peaceful Divorce
A divorce ranks second only to the death of a loved one in terms of life stressors. Divorces seem to cause a wide spectrum of emotions to rise to the surface, possibly including anger, hurt, betrayal, and fear for the future. If there are children involved, that can bring an additional layer of emotional trauma. In fact, navigating a peaceful divorce may seem an impossible task.
Nothing will make a divorce “easy.” However, there are some things you can do that may help take some of the pain out your divorce and make the proceedings run more smoothly, resulting in an improved outcome in terms of financial, emotional and physical wellbeing. This article addresses four guidelines, compiled by experienced divorce lawyers, for you to consider to make your divorce as peaceful as possible.
Ensure Divorce Is the Best Option
By definition, a divorce is a final dissolution of a marriage. If you are in a troubled marriage and you see no way to resolve the conflicts with your partner, divorce may seem to be the only option. You may even feel pressured by friends and family members to put an end to the marriage and move on with your life. However, there may be other options.
Sometimes the underlying issues can be resolved, and in time, that alone may be enough to repair a strained relationship and save the marriage. Problems with communication or financial stress may seem overwhelming, but in many cases they are not unsurmountable. Working together to resolve these issues with the help of professionals can bring you and your spouse to a resolution that actually strengthens the love and respect that your relationship was built upon.
However, resolution is not always possible. After considering all options, If you decide that divorce is the best course of action, here are some things to consider to help your divorce go as smoothly as possible.
Be Mutually Respectful During Divorce
Depending on the circumstances that led to your split, holding onto a mutual respect with your soon-to-be ex may seem an impossible feat. If you are dealing with addiction or infidelity, your initial reaction may be to hire the most aggressive lawyer you can find, with the intention to win in court at any cost. Ultimately, however, you may be the one paying the price in a protracted and ugly legal battle.
Not only is litigation a costly endeavor, but it tends to result in an emotional and physical strain for both parties. On the other hand, if you can manage to remain civil, there is a greater chance that your spouse will do so as well. Maintaining a mutual respect even through gritted teeth will save you (and your children, if you have them) from additional unnecessary stress throughout the divorce proceedings.
Share a Common Goal during Divorce
It may seem that during your marriage, it was impossible to agree with your spouse on anything. Even if that were true, it may still be possible to share a common goal for your future – to exit the marriage with as little stress as possible. By way of example, if you have children, you may be able to agree that their wellbeing is a top priority. In that case, you can both work toward finding common ground for the benefit of your children, even if it means putting your emotions aside.
Or perhaps you and your ex can agree upon the desire for both of you to exit the divorce with financial or emotional equity. So, rather than simply making decisions that are right for one party, both parties seek a resolution that is fair for themselves and their ex-spouse.
When you meet with your attorneys, it is important to let them know what common goals you and your spouse have decided upon so that they can help you maintain a climate of civility and respect throughout the process.
Be Open to All Divorce Options
The attitude you assume when you begin divorce discussions may set the tone for the entire process. If you are determined to take your spouse for whatever you can get at any cost, your divorce will likely be lengthy, contentious and ugly. The question you may need to ask yourself is, what will that type of process do to you and, if you have them, your children? Is it worth it?
It might be helpful to take a pause, and consider the many avenues available to you. What do you want your divorce to look like? What do you want for yourself, your children, and even your ex at the conclusion of the proceedings?
There are options to consider other than “going to the mattresses.” Most of these options may in fact work better for you, both financially and mentally.
A mediation involves a neutral, third-party mediator who assists both spouses to come to a fair consensus and resolve their issues as cost effectively as possible. In a mediation, spouses are involved in the negotiation process, either with or without the assistance of their attorneys. Many couples prefer this course of action because they are more in control of the give and take that goes into structuring a settlement. If the mediation is not able to achieve a resolution, you can still consider litigation as a next step.
In a Collaborative Divorce, both spouses and their professional team (attorneys, financial advisors and even mental health professionals) sign a Participation Agreement in which they agree to work toward a resolution without litigation. The process is voluntary, but ensures that proceedings are kept out of court.
Collaborative divorces can also help spouses maintain privacy and respect, keeping the family and any children involved as priorities throughout the divorce process. If you are interested in exploring this option, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals provides resources and information that will help you decide if this approach may fit your unique situation.
Once you have decided that divorce is the best or only option, decide what you really want at its conclusion. Likely, the more measured approach of respect and searching for common goals will be more likely to lead to your desired outcome.
Oakland county divorce lawyer Starla Zehr can help you then decide whether mediation, collaboration or litigation will be the best for your unique situation.
Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer
Choosing a divorce lawyer is an extremely personal and important decision. The role of your divorce attorney is more than just filing papers – they advise and counsel you so that you understand all your options and make decisions that are right for you.
When necessary, your divorce lawyer advocates aggressively for you, to ensure that your rights are protected, and that you get the best possible results.
But an experienced divorce lawyer also acts as a “middleman” to peacefully resolve issues through negotiations with your spouse’s lawyer – avoiding the need for you to fight directly or have emotional arguments with your ex. Since a good divorce lawyer will “know the law” and “know the judge” they can hammer out the best settlement for you – while keeping the peace as much as possible between you and your spouse.
Divorce lawyer Starla Zehr offers caring, compassionate advice, skilled negotiation and aggressive representation – all at affordable rates. Call Starla today for a free, confidential consultation, and she will help you make your divorce as peaceful and as least stressful as possible.