The Blame Game – Strategies for an Amicable Divorce

By | May 23, 2011

Divorce can be an ugly word, particularly if the circumstances surrounding the separation are not entirely congenial.  An ugly divorce can turn into an ugly divorce proceeding, which in turn evolves into a number of legal hassles that a lot of people have to deal with – including lawyers who charge you by the hour.  Needless to say, you don’t want a bad divorce, and you certainly don’t want to start playing “the blame game” with your spouse. So how do you avoid all of this trouble? Keep reading.

Divorces can be like marriages – they’re often unique and have their own issues, but you’d be surprised just how similar the principles behind them can be.  And when a divorce over a troublesome marriage develops, it can quite predictably yield some legal troubles for both parties. Avoiding these pitfalls and having an amicable divorce that leaves at least the legal troubles behind you quickly can really help you get your financial house in order again. Let’s take a look at some of the best strategies for an amicable divorce.

Strategy #1: Pick your battles. It’s not exactly rocket science here – you have to know that some battles are worth fighting and some simply aren’t. When a couple quibbles over something that they both know is insignificant, it’s a sign that the real issue is the relationship and the frustration present there, not necessarily the issue in question. That’s why it’s important to pick your battles.

Does this mean that you acquiesce all the time? No; picking your battles does mean that you occasionally fight for what you want. Stubbornness can have its place if all you want are specific items or a specific custody arrangement; in fact, your willingness to acquiesce in other places can bode well for some leeway when it comes to something you really want. So make sure that you don’t expect to receive everything in the divorce; just understand that you should be ready to fight for the stuff that really matters to you. Letting the smaller things slide can be a way to get things moving.

If both sides are picking their battles, then it typically means that only the important issues and important properties are dealt with energy, meaning that the rest of the divorce proceedings will generally be easy to handle. No divorce is really all that easy, but both sides picking their battles can certainly grease the wheels.

Strategy #2: Forget old frustrations and concentrate on the case. You’d be surprised how many complications arise not because someone is not smart, or not because they aren’t assertive, but because they’re simply too hard to get along with; they’re too frustrated to let their head do the thinking. Try to keep your cool throughout the process and you’ll see just how easier a divorce seems because you’re being level-headed and rational.  Bringing in the old emotions with you to the case won’t really help you; revenge has no place in a divorce proceeding.  Instead, you’ll want to focus on the facts at hand, and other questions like “How do I achieve what I want here?”

These more constructive questions will serve you much better because they’re the right questions to ask – they’ll put your focus on finding the right answers for a more amicable divorce proceeding.  If you’re worried about what to do at this point, simply try to say as little as possible to your spouse and breathe a lot.  You’d be surprised just how stressful these situations can be and how easy it is to let that stress affect the quality of our judgment.

Strategy #3: Remain civil in all situations. Remaining civil can have a dramatic impact on the quality of your divorce, especially if you’re looking for an amicable divorce. The way you act during the divorce can affect your relationship with people for the rest of your life – you certainly don’t want to look back at this difficult time in your life and see that you handled a stressful situation like a child.  You’re an adult, and acting like one will result in a better divorce, a better post-divorce relationship, and a better proceeding in general. You’d be surprised just how important it can be for one person to set the tone off the bat by being civil – if the other side is looking for a fight, sometimes they’ll find one, but if you set that civil tone early on, they just might follow your lead.

Is this difficult sometimes? Of course it is. We’re all human beings with our own emotions and frustrations. But that doesn’t mean we can’t overcome our emotions and act the way we want to act – it’s the essential decision we can make as humans, to override our instincts and serve a better purpose. A divorce is an ugly time in general, which is why it’s so important that you take care to remain civil despite what your instincts might tell you.  Override those instincts and you’ll impress your lawyer, your spouse, your spouse’s lawyer – and most importantly, yourself.

Will these three strategies guarantee a successful outcome in your divorce? No; there’s much more to the picture than that.  But you’ll definitely want to keep them in mind as essential principles to help you get through the divorce and make sure that the divorce doesn’t leave scars that never heal.

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