Divorce disputes often take on a life of their own. Conflicts about money or children may seem unresolvable because the parties look at all the issues lumped together. However, when spouses can break them down into discrete issues, there may be a path to settle your divorce. Every issue that gets settled through negotiation is one less that has to go to court. In addition, sometimes finding a compromise on one small thing encourages the parties to apply the same solution or method to a broader conflict. A great example of this approach came from a recent matter in our office.
Our client wanted to settle on a parenting plan with her Husband. He was uncooperative and unwilling to discuss the matter and it was likely to end up being decided by a judge. In the meantime, the Wife continued to communicate via email with the Husband over how to handle the holidays that just passed, and they eventually came to an agreement. Taking this same informal approach, the Wife asked the Husband if he would be willing to apply the same guidelines to future holidays and vacations and he agreed. This became the foundation of a parenting plan. These parents may not resolve all their issues this way, but they made significant progress through casual conversations over immediate issues rather than through formal negotiations trying to resolve everything.
This approach is not right for every divorce matter. You should discuss it with your attorney and together outline what you want to accomplish and how you may be able to get there. Sometimes, lawyers are not the best way to go if there is a way for the parties to address small issues on their own. However, there should be a plan behind your actions so you can leverage your discussions to achieve a broader compromise.
Considering different ways to settle your divorce can save significant time and money. Typically, parties are also more satisfied with the resolution of their disputes when they come to an agreement themselves rather than a court deciding the case.
If you are considering a divorce, contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve the best result in your matter.