When you realized there were issues in your marriage that you and your spouse couldn’t resolve, you may have experienced a wave of emotion. Deciding to divorce is likely one of the most solemn decisions you will ever make. Especially, if you have children, knowing that you’re not only changing your own life but your children’s lives as well can be daunting.
It’s often possible to settle divorce amicably. You don’t have to assume that you and your ex will have to duke it out in a courtroom. In fact, you don’t even have to go to court if you’d prefer to use alternate means for obtaining a settlement. Mediation might be a viable option if both parties will agree to a few things ahead of time.
Don’t enter negotiations without having an idea of what you want
If you plan to mediate your divorce, it’s important that you head to sessions with a clear idea of your goals. What do you need and what do you want in order to adapt to a new lifestyle with your kids in a healthy, productive way with the least amount of disruption and stress possible? The following includes practical ideas that can help you keep the peace as you settle your divorce:
- The problems in your marriage were private and personal. When mediating your divorce, it’s best to stay focused on negotiations as though they were business meetings; it is not a time to re-open old wounds.
- Finances are a top priority, especially concerning providing for your children. Be as prepared as possible to discuss all aspects of finances and articulate your potential future needs as well as those of your children.
- It’s never a good idea to divorce without a support team in place. From a trusted friend or family member to your children’s teachers, a licensed counselor or an experienced family law advocate, building a strong support network from the start helps keep stress to a minimum as you work toward a settlement.
Be a forward thinker when it comes to divorce. Instead of dwelling on the past, you may benefit more from looking toward the future and developing a plan to help you and your kids cope with the changes in your lives.
Avoid confrontation. A willingness to compromise and knowing where to seek support if a legal problem arises are keys to success as you and your ex start afresh in separate households.