Joel W. Anders, P.C.
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Don't want to go to court? Negotiate with your spouse

Many people know that the last thing they want to do during their divorce is go through hearings to get a judge to make decisions for them. In most cases, it's unnecessary, too.

People have the ability to find common ground and to make their decisions in ways that are respectful and informed. However, divorce can add an element of frustration and stress that impacts the way people look at their options and how they want to treat their ex-spouses.

What should you do to make divorce easier?

The first thing you can do to make your divorce easier is to start thinking of it in terms of a business arrangement. There are two sides to a divorce, the emotional and the legal. While you may have emotional trauma from a divorce, you don't want that to spill over into the decision-making process.

To make this easier, it's good to give yourself time when presented with new information or parts of the divorce that you have to make decisions about. For example, if you're presented with a possible parenting plan that upsets you, don't respond right away. Take 24 hours to mull it over. Sit down and compose yourself before responding, so you aren't responding aggressively or with anger. Civility will go a long way in diffusing the sometimes-tense conversations during divorce.

Another thing you may consider is going through mediation with your spouse. Mediation has a third-party mediator present, which helps you stay on task and avoid breaking down into arguments while you talk to each other. The mediator is also educated in law and ways to help you work together instead of fighting against one another. In many mediation sessions, people walk away with a better understanding of what their exes want and why they want those things.

There are some couples who cannot get along well enough to avoid sitting in front of a judge and having the judge make the final call on their property division needs or custody arrangements. You don't have to let that happen in your situation. You and your spouse should sit down and determine if you are willing to negotiate and work together. As long as you are both in agreement that you can find common ground despite your differences, you will have a better chance of resolving your divorce without having to turn to the court for help making your decisions.

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