If you can’t resolve your divorce issues with your spouse, then the judge will resolve them for you. Such a contested divorce shouldn’t be your first option — there are better ways to divorce. Below are some tips to help you avoid a contested divorce.
Understand the Repercussions
The first tip is to understand the cons of a contested divorce. The understanding may motivate you to avoid a contest. For example, you should understand that a contest is likely to:
- Prolong your divorce
- Increase your divorce’s costs
- Drain you emotionally
- Create hostility between you
For example, your partner might claim that you are a bad parent during the custody hearing. That might frustrate you and tempt you to retaliate. The fight might ruin your relationship, which is especially bad if you have children to raise together.
Focus on the Big Picture
Focusing on the big picture (main aims) can also help you avoid a contested divorce. If you are like many people, then you probably want to:
- Get a favorable custody and visitation ruling
- Get a fair share of the marital assets
- Get fair child and spousal support
- Minimize the impact of the divorce on children
- Minimize the impact of the divorce on finances
The best way to achieve your goals is to leave them in your hands by avoiding litigation. You leave your fate in the hands of the court (judge) once you opt for a contested divorce.
Many divorce issues seem complicated. You might think that the only way to handle the complications is to go to court. Fortunately, you don’t have to do that since you can get help from professionals in different fields. For example, you can consult
- Appraisers to help you value and divide your assets
- A therapist to help you deal with your emotions so that you can focus on the divorce
- Finance professionals to help you with alimony and child support
- A divorce lawyer to help you understand and safeguard your legal rights
In fact, you should consult a lawyer as early as possible in your divorce. The lawyer will evaluate your circumstances and advise you on the professionals you need.
Try Alternative Forms of Divorce
In addition to involving professionals, consider alternative forms of divorce. For example, you can try arbitration where each of you makes their case in front of an arbitrator. The arbitrator then issues a ruling much as a judge would do in court.
Another alternative is mediation, which works more or less like arbitration. The main difference is that, for mediation, the mediator guides the negotiations but doesn’t make a ruling. Discuss with your divorce lawyer whether your circumstances are suitable for any of these processes.
You should know that you are unlikely to get everything you want in the divorce settlement from the onset. You will have to give up some things to gain some. For example, even if you want full custody of the child, you may have to accept shared custody instead.
List your aims and targets in order of priority to help you decide what you can and cannot give up. During the negotiations, try as much as possible to get the items that top the list. For the items down your list, trade them off for the things you need.
Hopefully, the tips above will help you get the uncontested divorce you want. However, you reserve the right to go to court if you can’t reach an out-of-court agreement. The Law Offices of Lynda Latta LLC has the resources and experience to help you with any divorce issue. Contact us for a consultation to help you resolve your divorce.