The Value of Compromise During Divorce
Posted by: Kenneth Burton
I won’t sugarcoat it, divorce is hard. It is driven with emotion which makes it a draining process for most individuals. From the realization that your marriage is over to possibly numerous court proceedings, divorce can often bring out the worst.
The process can be time consuming and expensive. If you want to save yourself the headache of a long drawn out court battle, here are some things you can do to help expedite the process.
1. Look at the bigger picture.
Often, clients can become so wrapped up in the emotional side of divorce they can’t see the bigger picture. They are so bent on proving they are right or remaining in control, that they end up prolonging their case and racking up their bill.
Try to set your emotions aside. If you and your spouse can’t agree on where visitation exchanges should take place, is it really worth your attorney spending $250.00 in correspondence with opposing counsel to address it? These are the decisions you will need to consider in divorce. At every turn, there will be situations where you will have to decide if it’s worth taking a stand and paying the price, or turning the other cheek.
2. Be upfront with your attorney.
You can waste valuable time and effort not disclosing important information such as financial accounts to your attorney. If the withheld account is later discovered, documents may have to be amended, your case may be delayed, and you may even be ordered to pay sanctions. It’s important for your attorney to have a full understanding of all facts involved in your divorce so they can properly advise you.
3. Be involved in your finances.
Does your spouse handle all the bills and other banking? While you may think that’s great, you may be wrong. Being uninvolved in your finances can be detrimental to your case.
If you are unaware of financial information such as: financial accounts, mortgage information, debts, etc. your attorney won’t have accurate material to base your case off of. They may have to subpoena information or request it from the other party, costing you a pretty penny. Familiarizing yourself with finances prior to divorce can also be helpful since you will be handling your own finances post divorce.
4. Be open to mediation.
The majority of our cases settle at mediation. Some clients walk into mediation with the attitude that they won’t budge on anything. Being determined to have mediation fail is a wasted opportunity. If both parties come with an open mind, ready to negotiate, mediation can be a very successful tool.
Mediation isn’t about winning or losing. Both parties are expected to compromise and make sacrifices. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss terms with a neutral professional who assists in the negotiation process. Often, this helps both parties walk away feeling satisfied with the result rather than the winner/loser dynamic often felt after a court appearance. Being willing to discuss settlement at mediation can save you time and money in the long run.
Make a list of your top goals relating to your divorce and share these with your attorney. By doing this, it will help you to know what terms you are more willing to negotiate. It will also help your attorney to know what’s important to you and help you stay on the same page. These goals may change throughout the process, and that’s okay, just make sure you keep your attorney up to speed.
6. Provide evidence.
Many situations in divorce come down to a game of “she said/he said” so keep evidence to help back up your story. This may include: text message conversations, parent time calendars, statements from doctors, account records, statements from witnesses, etc. Not providing evidence can unravel a claim quickly, so take the time to gather supporting documents and learn to document them as you go.
Divorce is an overwhelming process, but an attorney can assist you. If you or someone you know has questions relating to divorce, contact Burton Law Firm to set up an appointment today. Our attorneys have the experience and the knowledge to assist you through the complex process.