Litigating divorce can be time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining. While mediation can be a great option, it is not the right solution for everyone. How can spouses who have significant disputes resolve their issues as efficiently as possible? Committing to settlement discussions is the key. Negotiation and compromise allow both parties to “win.” The odds of settling divorce disputes can be improved when parties rely on these strategies:
- Minimize emotional decision-making. Often the emotional aspects of divorce take over and parties lose sight of the benefits of an efficient end to their disputes. The foundation of a successful divorce is in making well-informed practical decisions. Individual counseling may help where a party is having trouble dealing with negative emotions.
- Resolve what you can. All matters do not have to be settled. However, the more issues you can agree on, the fewer that go to litigation thereby reducing the time and money spent on the divorce.
- Weigh the cost and benefit of battling versus settling. Prioritize what is important to you. Minor issues may not be worth fighting over especially considering the expense of litigating the matter.
- Outline your position on each issue. Speak with your attorney about what you would be willing to negotiate. Your attorney can discuss your concerns with you and/or create a memo that will guide discussions with the other side.
- Wait to make an offer. While negotiations can occur at any point, generally, it is best to wait until all financial disclosures have been made so you are making informed decisions. In addition, typically, your attorney will first talk with your spouse’s attorney about their desire to settle. No offers are made until both parties and their attorneys are ready to engage in discussions.
- If necessary, ask for judicial intervention. Ideally, you will not have to go to court. However, judges are eager to promote settlement and may support your efforts if your spouse is refusing all cooperation.
Couples should try to resolve as many issues as they can between themselves. Only when negotiations fail should matters be litigated. Settling divorce disputes enables parties to resolve divorce disputes effectively and efficiently and move forward in their lives more quickly than a drawn-out trial.
If you are considering divorce, we can help you obtain the positive results you want. Contact us for assistance.