Thursday, February 1, 2018

How Can I Have a Peaceful Divorce?

If you really want to avoid fighting, as much as possible, in a divorce, here's what you need to do.
1.  Choose Collaborative Law.  If you get into traditional litigation, you may be drawn into more conflict.  Most of the time in litigation, you are placed in opposition to your spouse, rather than working with him/her to find win-win solutions. Most divorces will eventually get into mediation, but that's late in the process after a lot of damage has been done.

2.  Work with a team. In North Texas, almost all Collaborative divorces involve bringing in a neutral mental health professional and a neutral financial professional to work with the parties and attorneys.  The neutrals help the quality of the agreements on parenting and property division, as well as helping the process move along smoothly.

3.  Focus on goals, needs and interests of both parties.  Doing that helps make sure we deal with the most important matters and not get bogged down in minor issues. We can be a lot more efficient as well.

4.  Hire experienced Collaborative Law attorneys.  As a starter, you want to make sure the attorneys are trained in Collaborative Law.  Just as in most other matters, experience helps.  It's nice to have someone who has dealt with your issues before so look for a Collaborative attorney who has done it for a while.

5.  Be willing to try new approaches.  Don't get locked into what your family and friends tell you.  Be open to new ideas, especially if you have an experienced team of professionals helping you.

6. Understand that neither party can control the process alone.  You have to work together and you can get better results if you are willing to bend a little.  Usually, you have to give a little to get a little. It's easier to do if you're expecting it.

7.  Focus on improving your relationships.  In the Collaborative process, there is an emphasis on learning better communication skills, including listening.  If you and your spouse are able to work together, instead of against each other, that cooperation normally spills over into other parts of the post-divorce relationship.

To get a peaceful divorce, be willing to try new approaches and be willing to help from several directions.  You'll be glad you did.