Divorces are complex processes from both a legal and an emotional standpoint. This complexity, combined with the added stress that the divorce can bring about, can cause some people to make mistakes that can adversely impact their final divorce outcome. This list provides some tips that can help the divorce run smoothly and finish up as painlessly as possible.
Do Not Sacrifice Civility
Maintaining a civil relationship with your soon to be ex-spouse can yield a variety of benefits. While the divorce signifies the end of the marital relationship from a legal standpoint, your lives have been closely intertwined, likely for years. Even after the divorce ends, there will still be some relationship there. You may have mutual friends or shared colleagues, and being able to interact with your ex in a civil manner can help reduce the strain that the divorce will place on those relationships. This is even more true in divorces that involve children. If you and your ex-spouse are both involved in the children’s lives, then maintaining a cordial association can help make co-parenting easier and can improve parent-child relationships.
Do Not Be Afraid to Compromise
One of the other benefits of civility is that it can help you and your spouse resolve issues through mediation rather than court hearings. The more that the two of you can compromise without the intervention of a judge, the better the outcome will be. Judges do their best to make wise decisions when divorces come before them, but they simply will not know the spouses as well as the spouses know each other. Of course, compromising is easier said than done in many instances. Issues like property division and child custody are emotionally charged and full of sentiment. However, approaching the situation with a clear head and a willingness to engage in give and take can help people feel happier about their divorce in the long run since they had taken an active part in shaping the results.
Do Not Be Afraid to Take a Stand
While compromise is important, it is not the only value worth pursuing. It is ok to have issues on which you choose to stand your ground. The important part is to choose your battles wisely. Giving in on too many issues will leave you unhappy with the resolution, but picking a fight over every decision will turn the divorce acrimonious and lead to a drawn out court battle. Approaching the negotiations with an attitude of moderation is key, as is understanding that you can stand your ground in a firm but respectful manner.
Do Not Overvalue Your House
Another common mistake people often make during the divorce is overvaluing their house. This does not mean that people get an inflated appraisal, but rather people consider sentimental or non-monetary factors. Some people simply love their homes and cannot bear to part with the memories. Others have strong relationships to the community or do not want to force their children to change schools. This can lead to someone trading away large sums of cash or other large assets like retirement plans, without accounting for the costs that come along with the house like taxes and maintenance, which can make the house a worse economic proposition in the long-term. This does not mean you should not fight to keep the marital home if you really want it. Community relationships and children’s education are valid considerations, but do not fight for them without a full understanding of the costs.
If you are considering filing for divorce and would like more information on the practicalities of the process, contact a California divorce attorney today. The team of lawyers at Walzer Melcher, LLP can help guide you through both the legal and strategic issues surrounding the divorce process.