Three tips to navigate a contentious divorce
Divorce is not something couples choose lightly. Those who choose a divorce have good reason to end the marriage. A recent report by Forbes analyzed divorce data and found that the most common reason for divorce is a lack of commitment, followed closely by infidelity and excessive arguing with a spouse.
It is no surprise that these top reasons for divorce can mean the legal process to end the marriage is full of conflict. Unfortunately, conflict does not help to ensure you get your fair share when the divorce is finalized. It is important to sort through the issues that triggered the divorce and determine what is helpful and what is not. This requires a logical review of the issues. Three tips that can help you get through a contentious divorce and focus on the logical issues to better ensure you get your fair share include the following.
#1: Accept emotional frustration.
Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster. It will likely include moments of anger, sadness, and even rage as well as hope. These feelings are normal. Wellbeing and relationship experts encourage those going through a divorce acknowledge these emotions and use various tools to help control these feelings during divorce negotiations. These can include keeping a calm voice, using breathing exercises, and tabling an issue for further discussion at a later time before things get too heated.
#2: Keep priorities in mind.
Make a list of priorities before moving forward with divorce negotiations. If certain assets are more important than others, consider an alternative marital asset of similar value that you would be willing to trade to better ensure you get the things that are important.
As noted above, there are some issues that trigger a divorce that could play a role in the legal process and are important to consider when making this list of priorities. The details vary by state and with each case. In Tennessee, for example, state law allows for fault divorce. If the divorce is contentious because one party committed adultery, the victim spouse may be able to use the fault during certain parts of the divorce process, such as alimony negotiations.
#3: Put together a team of professionals.
You do not need to go through this process alone. Gather a group of professionals to advocate for your interests and better ensure a more favorable outcome. Start with a divorce attorney, a legal advocate to make sure your rights are protected and mitigate the risk of any surprises after the divorce is finalized. If you have business interests or other more complicated assets, it may be wise to have an accountant or other financial expert to help with valuations and develop a plan to transfer the assets with minimal negative impact. It can also help to gather close friends, family members, or a counselor to serve as a confidant to help address the emotional impact of the divorce.
When taken together, these three tips can help you get through a contentious divorce and better ensure a smooth transition to post-divorce life.