There was a time when you would never have dreamed things could get this bad. After all, no one gets married expecting they’ll have to divorce the person they love so much. But then, time passes, things start going wrong, and eventually, the relationship is just too sour. Staying together isn’t an option anymore.
When that happens, there is nothing wrong with asking for a divorce. However, because the subject of marriage is so personal, couples often feel tempted to turn their divorce negotiations into a battleground. A space where they can fight each other and let out pent-up frustrations about their relationship. This is something that can lead to serious problems.
Regardless of who you blame for your marriage falling apart, there are good reasons to try and make your divorce negotiations as peaceful as possible. Here are some of them.
1. Fighting draws out the process
There are a lot of details to go through in any divorce negotiation. The details of who gets to keep what assets can get complicated fast, especially when both parties have assets they’re very adamant about keeping. These are issues that are hard enough to settle when you and your former partner are negotiating calmly, and it’ll only be more difficult if you two are fighting.
Constant arguments and backtracking are how you end up with divorce negotiations that drag on for years. Racking up frustration and attorney fees along the way. And you can do your part to prevent that issue by keeping your cool and letting your attorney do the talking.
Of course, there isn’t much you can do to prevent your partner from making things difficult. But a good family law attorney will ensure you get what you’re owed no matter what the other side tries, as this website shows. And no matter how bad your former partner makes things, trying to fight on their level can only make the process even slower.
2. Fighting costs more
Divorces have a reputation for being very expensive, but they don’t have to be. Attorney fees are usually the key factor in how expensive a divorce will be, and you can reduce how much you’ll spend on those fees by trying to keep things peaceful.
There are a couple of reasons why peaceful divorces are often cheaper. One of them is that peaceful negotiations can often be finished faster. And since attorneys charge per hour, this can have a big impact on the final price tag.
Another reason is that a peaceful divorce gives you the option to try mediation first. Divorce mediation allows you and your former partner to try and settle the details of your divorce by discussing things with a single attorney. That attorney will operate as an impartial mediator between the couple.
Mediation is significantly cheaper than hiring two attorneys for the negotiation. And the mediator can still ensure that both sides are getting what they are owed from the dissolution of the marriage. However, mediation is not effective if you and your former partner are already at each other’s throats. You will need to keep the peace if you wish to give this negotiation method a try.
3. Fighting makes it harder to compromise
Couples are often under the impression that they need to fight and be tough to get what they want out of a divorce. That is not exactly true.
A divorce negotiation is just that: a negotiation. And the only way it can work is if both sides are willing to discuss things like adults and agree on compromises.
Your attorneys are there to help smooth out that process, but you and your former partner are the final decision-makers. This means that there isn’t much they can do if either of you isn’t willing to negotiate. That may leave you in a situation where the only way to get your divorce is to take it to court and let a judge decide the terms of the dissolution. A process that can be both time-consuming and very expensive.
You need to be willing to make some compromises. Otherwise, it will be very hard to get any compromises out of your former partner. And getting those compromises will be even harder if you’ve been antagonizing them all throughout the divorce negotiation.
Keep in mind that this is true regardless of who is at fault for the divorce. In cases where a partner cheated or committed some other unforgivable act, it’s easy to get caught up trying to use the divorce negotiations to get retribution for the pain suffered. But that is not how divorce negotiations work.
4. Fighting is bad for the kids
Trying to keep the peace is especially important when children are involved. A divorce already puts a toll on both parents and children alike. And turning the negotiations into a warzone can only make things worse.
You may think you can isolate the kids from the drama and the damage. And hopefully, both you and your former partner can resist the urge to vent about the divorce in front of your children. But even if they don’t know the details, kids know their parents. And they know when their parents are upset.
Often, every bit you do to hurt your former partner will indirectly hurt your kids as well. And when they don’t know how bad things are behind the scenes, this hidden war between you and your former partner can also add a lot to their pain and confusion.
5. It’s hard to reverse course
Once you’ve earned the wrath of your former partner, it can be hard or even impossible to reverse course. Hurtful things you do or say today may stay in your former partner’s mind forever, encouraging them to fight you and draw out the negotiations for years.
After all, even married couples have a hard time forgiving each other. Do you think getting forgiveness from someone you’re divorcing is any easier?
With that in mind, it’s in your best interest to try and keep things peaceful as long as possible. You can always decide to pick a fight with your former partner later. But once the fighting and bickering start, it can be very hard to put that genie back in the bottle.