Divorce is already a difficult situation emotionally, but when you add the legal aspect, it can turn into a full blown nightmare. However, some people have easier divorces than others. While some of these differences have to do with the nature of the divorce or the personalities of the parties involved, the are certain aspects that are more in your control. Here are a few ways to make divorce easier:
1 ) Get a lawyer who isn’t aggressive.
If you don’t get a lawyer who has your best interest at heart, you could end up hiring someone who fans the flames. Make sure your lawyer supports the idea of keeping your divorce civil. Interview potential attorneys and ask them whether they prefer negotiating a settlement to bringing it to court. Some lawyers are aggressive, and if your spouse hires someone like that, it can still turn into a bit of a battle even if you have a more peaceful lawyer. If possible, try to make sure that you both get lawyers who are on board with an amicable divorce.
2) Consider divorce mediation.
As you can imagine, negotiating everything with your spouse can be emotionally draining. A mediator’s role is to help you and your spouse get past those emotional barriers. You should be able to come to an agreement that is beneficial for both of you. While a lawyer works with one individual person in a divorce, a mediator works with both spouses at the same time. Instead of representing the individual spouses’ interests like a lawyer, they facilitate a negotiation between spouses. Typically the result is an agreement that meets the needs of both sides. A mediator is especially helpful if you have children who are struggling through this hard time.
3) Consider collaborative practice.
Certain family lawyers are taking a relatively new approach called collaborative practice. Through this approach, the clients and lawyers agree not to go to court but instead to voluntarily share information and work cooperatively toward a settlement. A collaborative lawyer will not take a case unless the other spouse has also hired a collaborative lawyer. The lawyers then sign an agreement stating the parties will need to hire new lawyers if the case cannot be settled. This way, the lawyers will not go to court just to make money, and parties are more likely to settle earlier.
4) If you fear violence, get help.
It is unfortunately possible that during your divorce you are afraid of potential violence occurring against yourself or your kids. If this occurs, take action as quickly as possible. Move to a safe place and get a temporary restraining order against your spouse if necessary. If you do this, it is crucial that you get a temporary order for custody of your children as well. Otherwise, you’ll be accused of kidnapping. If you are strapped for cash, you have the legal right to withdraw money from your joint accounts, but try not to take more than half of the money available. After you’ve taken the amount of money you need plus some extra, file an action in court for support.
From the emotional tensions to the legal difficulties, divorce is not an easy situation. But with a good lawyer, you’ll be able to get through the process as smoothly as possible.