Divorce is naturally fraught with emotions, and it can become very heated very quickly. If, however, you can keep your divorce moving in a civil direction, you can save yourself time, expense, and heartache. Further, while divorce is always hard on the children involved, a divorce that doesn’t become contentious is less so. You obviously cannot control your divorcing spouse’s attitude and actions, but there are things you can do to help keep your divorce moving forward without unnecessary drama.
Take Your Time
When you make decisions in the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to walk them back. Take your time, and do not make important decisions in haste. This includes a variety of decision-making categories:
- The decision to divorce in the first place – is your marriage salvageable?
- Decisions related to the division of your marital property
- Decisions related to your child custody arrangements
Prioritize those matters that are most important to you, and let this guide you in your decision-making process.
Clarify Your Goals
Your priorities will guide your goals in your divorce. If you have children, their continued well-being, health, and happiness are naturally your top priority. When you allow yourself to clarify your goals regarding your children and the division of your marital property, it provides you with ballast for the divorce process. A divorce can throw a lot of curve balls your way, but focusing on your goals will provide you with the clarity you need to ignore the noise and to focus on what matters most.
The Advantages of Civility
There are certain distinct advantages to civility during your divorce:
- Civility is less expensive and less time-consuming (there’s no need to make every issue a legal battle)
- Civility is less stressful and is less likely to interfere with your good judgment (the chaos of a contentious divorce can lead otherwise reasonable people to do extremely unreasonable things)
When it comes to divorce, if you can keep things civil, you should consider yourself a success story. This does not mean, however, that you should beat yourself up if things do take a turn for the worse. There is honor in doing what you can to keep your divorce from becoming ugly.
Communication Is Key
Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your divorcing spouse helps to keep things personal between the two of you – rather than making every issue a legal issue that requires your attorneys to become involved. The more details that the two of you can hammer out together, the more satisfied you are likely to be with the results.