Four Steps to Reduce Conflict in Divorce

The dissolution of a marriage is usually an emotionally-charged event, as people try to process all of the changes that accompany divorce. However, a divorce does not have to be the equivalent of World War III, and it is usually counterproductive for the couple to let it become so - especially if they need to continue to raise children together. Fortunately divorcing couples can take some steps to reduce conflict.

Communication Skills

One common reason that marriages break down is the spouses stop communicating with each other. Similarly, that lack of communication bleeds into the divorce process, causing difficulties. Spouses should make an effort to discuss issues in a calm manner as they arise. By keeping each other abreast of thoughts and feelings about the process, the spouses are more likely to reach agreements regarding child custody, parenting time and property division rather than having to litigate.

Be Generous, but Fair

The parties should resist the urge to grab more than their share in the property settlement. Petty bickering over material things leads to acrimony between the parties and poisons the process. A willingness to compromise will usually encourage the same spirit in the other party, and both can then negotiate to get the items that are truly important to them.

Conversely, spouses should also fight the impulse to give in completely to the other's demands when dividing property in an effort to "just get it over with." Giving more than a fair share to a spouse may cause a spouse to develop feelings of anger and resentment because the other spouse took advantage of him or her.

Confide in Someone

Those going through divorce should find someone they trust to talk about their feelings. By having someone in whom they can confide about the different emotions they are experiencing, they give themselves time to process any hurt or anger they may have. The parties will be less likely to lash out at each other in resentment if they have an opportunity to vent those emotions elsewhere.

Choose Legal Counsel Wisely

Those going through divorce should look for an attorney that fits the style in which they want to proceed. Those looking for a low-conflict divorce should find a lawyer who has skills in mediation and negotiation, with a track record for resolving issues favorably, rather than needing to take them to court.

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