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10 Tips for Making Your Divorce as Smooth as Possible

All divorces are complex, and many are emotional, stressful ordeals that can bring out the worst in a couple. If you expect to divorce soon, consider the following tips for making the whole process more bearable.

Hire an Attorney

A San Mateo County divorce attorney will help ensure an equitable divorce settlement with your ex. If you expect to receive child support, alimony, or other spousal support, your attorney will ensure your ex pays an appropriate amount. Conversely, an attorney can also help an alimony payer ensure he or she does not pay more than necessary. An attorney can assist with all aspects of a divorce and navigate you through the legal process.

Be Diplomatic

Even if bad blood exists between you and your ex, you should not allow your emotions to control the flow of divorce proceedings. Do your best to be respectful of your ex and remain diplomatic in all divorce negotiations. Even if your ex becomes antagonistic, maintaining your composure will ultimately work out in your favor.

Keep Your Composure, Especially When Your Ex Does Not

Fighting fire with fire is not a wise option for handling disagreements with your ex during divorce negotiations. If your ex becomes emotional, accusatory, or attempts to goad you into any type of argument, defuse the situation to the best of your ability with your attorney’s guidance.

Stay Flexible With Your Expectations

Your divorce agreement may turn out very different than you initially expected. Keep your expectations reasonable and refer to your attorney if you have questions about your financial obligations to your ex and vice versa. You may need to give up some property or rights to secure a fair divorce agreement that ultimately works to your benefit.

Do Not Expect Your Ex to Agree to Your Terms Immediately

Some divorces can resolve within a few weeks or months while others can drag on for a year or longer, depending on how negotiations proceed and the spouses’ agreeability. If your ex refuses your terms for divorce, consult your attorney about how to amend them for a more favorable response. Many divorces include several rounds of negotiations until the two parties find a solution. Be patient and refer to your attorney if you think your ex will try to refuse your terms or needlessly drag out divorce proceedings.

Consider Mediation

Mediation can help settle a divorce while minimizing each spouse’s legal costs, ultimately fostering a speedier equitable divorce. Mediation requires a neutral third party who has no legal obligation to either party and rules entirely based on objective interpretations of evidence.

Prepare for Tensions in the Family

Discussing divorce with your children and other family members can be extremely difficult, and the best method of approaching these conversations is to be honest, direct, and uncompromising. If your marriage has come to an end and you realize this as fact, the rest of your family will follow in time.

Maintain Relationships With Friends

Friends of a married couple may naturally gravitate toward spending time with one or the other party, but you should not immediately assume a friend will no longer want to spend time with you now that you are divorced. Do your best to be honest with your friends about your divorce and make sure they know the divorce does not change your relationships with them.

Be Respectful Whenever You Speak With Your Ex

It can be very easy to fall into the trap of accusations and name-calling in heated divorce negotiations. However, doing so weakens your position in those negotiations, especially in front of a judge. No matter what your ex says to you, stay polite and respectful and keep any strong emotions to yourself for the time being; they will only weaken your case and provide your ex with emotional leverage.

Always Keep Your Children’s Best Interests in Mind

Divorces that involve children are especially difficult. If you and your ex have children, you both need to make it a priority to let them know your love for them has not changed just because your marriage has ended. A perfectly 50/50 joint custody agreement may not be possible with your ex, or it may not be in the best interests of your children. If you realize that staying with your ex is ultimately better for your children, it is important to acknowledge this fact and find ways to maintain strong relationships with your kids within the terms of your child custody agreement.