If you experienced your own parent’s divorce as a child, especially if that experience was particularly difficult or hurtful, you may worry that pursuing your own divorce will end in misery and years of heartbreak for you and possibly your children.
These fears, while grounded in reason, might keep you from pursuing the divorce you need, for fear that peaceful divorce is not possible. If you resonate with this dilemma, there is potential good news. Not all divorces are mean and ugly. Some spouses understand that calm, civil divorce is possible and within their control. They determine to work together to dissolve the marriage and move on to new chapters in life with little long-term damage.
Each divorce is different, and various individuals approach the process with more willingness to compromise and keep matters civil than others. However, if you want a civil divorce process, it is possible. You and your spouse can agree to work together and refuse to participate in “divorce punishment” of each other. Even if you do not entirely avoid conflict in the process, entering into it with this mindset is a good start.
Consider divorce mediation
Mediation is one of the best ways to achieve a low-conflict divorce. You and your spouse meet in a neutral location where the things you say and do remain private (unlike appearing in court, which often creates public records available to anyone). In this neutral setting, you and your spouse can address the issues you must resolve to obtain a legally sound divorce.
This includes financial issues like property division as well as issues surrounding child custody and child support. The agreements you reach with the help of a trained mediator are legally binding, meaning that you may not have to appear in court at all. If you must appear in court to finalize the divorce, you usually won’t need to appear nearly as many times as in a traditionally litigated divorce.
Keep emotional and financial costs down
If you and your spouse fight over assets or the terms of your divorce, the process takes longer and costs more to finalize. While divorce is rarely free, many couples waste thousands of dollars fighting with each other. A calm, professionally mediated divorce can help couples reach legally binding agreements more quickly than traditionally litigated divorce, and thus saves money and time for both sides.
By agreeing to work together and seek fair agreements where both parties compromise, you can keep your priorities in focus and begin building your new life sooner rather than later, with fewer emotional burdens from the divorce itself. Often, as couples work together to create a fair divorce, the hurts between the spouses soften, allowing each party to go their separate ways while maintaining a base level of respect and civility.
If you believe that divorce mediation may fit your needs, be sure to seek an experienced attorney who understands how to use mediation in divorce. Choosing legal representation that shares your priorities for the divorce ensures that you have guidance toward your divorce goals, not away from them.