Divorce is one of life’s most trying experiences, and if you are facing a pending divorce, you have a lot to consider. Many divorcing couples want to mitigate the pain, expense, and damage of divorce by making it as amicable as possible. These same couples, however, are often convinced that proceeding amicably gives the other party the upper hand and that he or she may abuse that position of power. In other words, spouses sometimes believe – to their own detriment – that they need to take an aggressive stance to protect their rights throughout the divorce process. While some people are not above playing dirty in a divorce, there is no reason to address such an issue unless your spouse does go in that direction.
A United Front
If you and your spouse are moving toward divorce, it is only natural to experience a considerable amount of stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions. In fact, it is not uncommon to be wary of your spouse. This does not, however, mean that your spouse is going to stoop to using dirty divorce tactics. In fact, he or she is probably worried about the same thing. Allowing this fear to guide your divorce is not in your best interests. If the lines of communication remain open between you and your spouse, talking to your him or her about your desire to keep your divorce as amicable as possible can go a long way toward making it so. Your divorce attorney can also be instrumental in this process.
The Paradox of Cooperation
If both you and your divorcing spouse are motivated to obtain a divorce that does not become contentious, but you are both also suspicious of the other’s ulterior motives, it leaves you in a paradox of cooperation. In other words, your mutual desire to cooperate stops you from cooperating.
A Texas Divorce
The State of Texas has guidelines in place that will guide how the major elements of your divorce will be settled by the court if you and your spouse are unable to find mutually acceptable terms. These elements include:
- The distribution of your marital property
- Your child custody arrangements
- Spousal maintenance (also referred to as alimony)
These are important matters that are best determined between yourselves. If the court – with its vast discretion – make decisions for you, you and your spouse will be stripped of your decision making power. The less you and your spouse cooperate in the divorce process, the more expensive, lengthy, and emotionally fraught that process is likely to be.