Unfortunately, some couples have extremely contentious divorces after they decide to end their marriage. If your marriage was mostly happy, it can be surprising and challenging to handle a messy divorce. If your marriage was not happy, then a difficult divorce can feel like an additional burden as you try to move on with your life.
Can You Tell in Advance If Your Divorce Will Be Contentious?
It is not always obvious how difficult or easy a divorce proceeding will be for you. If your marriage was unhappy because you and your spouse did not get along, you may have a difficult divorce. Alternatively, if you had a mostly good marriage, you may start arguing at the beginning of the separation or divorce process. This could be a sign that the divorce will continue to be difficult. Further, you could have a surprising emotional reaction to the divorce process even though your ex-spouse is generally agreeable. If you do find that you and your ex-spouse cannot agree or are fighting constantly while getting a divorce, there are a few ways that you can handle it well.
Get a Lawyer
Limit your contact with your ex-spouse to necessary and brief communications during your separation and divorce. Have your lawyer be the go-between for in-depth discussions. Your lawyer should communicate with your ex-spouse’s lawyer or your ex-spouse for any negotiations about important parts of the divorce, such as custody, spousal support, or property division. Request that your ex-spouse direct questions or issues to your lawyer.
Know Your Worth
To protect your assets during a contentious divorce, make sure you have a good idea what you and your spouse own. Your lawyer and other financial professionals should be able to help you assess your possessions and financial status. Also, make a list of any debts or regular large expenses that you or your spouse have. Don’t move any money until you consult your lawyer, but get an idea of how much money you have now. Doing so can help you figure out your goals during the divorce.
Determine Your Goals During the Divorce Process
Make sure that you sit down and think about what you want from the divorce. Maybe you value having custody of your children more than keeping the house. Maybe it’s not realistic to pay for upkeep on your vacation house, but you want to continue living in your main residence. Everyone has different priorities going into a divorce, and you need to figure out yours. Once you do, you will know where you can compromise with your ex-spouse.
Options for Resolving a Contentious Divorce
You have options for resolving a contentious divorce. Spouses who are willing to compromise (even if their ex-spouses are not) potentially can shorten the divorce process and save themselves a lot of stress. For example, you should ask your lawyer if you can negotiate a separation agreement, which can help resolve many of the issues that later delay contentious divorces. In addition, your lawyer can talk to you about the possibility of arbitration or mediation – alternative dispute resolution methods that can lower stress levels for you and help resolve your case.
Let New Direction Family Law Assist You
If you are facing a contentious divorce, the team at New Direction Family Law is available today to help guide you through the process. With decades of combined legal experience, our attorneys are knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate professionals. We will help you understand your legal rights and protect your best interests. We proudly serve clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 646-6561 to schedule a consultation, or visit us at our website.