Deciding to initiate a divorce can obviously be a stressful decision. The changes in living situations, division of assets, and custody agreements are just some of the things that make a divorce such a daunting and lengthy proposition to consider. Making these tough decisions and getting your things in order can easily spiral downward into a tit-for-tat battle of who gets what, who feels like they are getting the better end of the deal, and even some actions done purely out of spite. This type of competition and animosity during a divorce can lead you to neglect what's best for yourself in the long-term and focus more on winning the battles now. Divorce shouldn't be about “winning” or “losing”, it should be about putting yourself and your family in the best position you can to have long-term success and prosperity in the future.
Try to Find Some Common Ground
If you are just beginning the divorce process, it likely feels as if there is surely going to be a winner and loser when all is set and done. Luckily, this does not have to be your reality. In the end, you and your spouse likely want many of the same things, this holds especially true if there are children involved in your separation. Keeping your children's physical and emotional well-being as your primary goal can allow you both to see that, in reality, you are both hoping for many of the same outcomes from your divorce. If you are primarily focused on besting your spouse, your kids are likely to come away the real losers. No matter how well you try to hide the tension and animosity from them, they will still be aware of it and will hurt them in the long run. The last thing you want if for them to feel like they should choose sides between one of their parents. You both want your children to have the same quality of life as they did pre-divorce and not come away traumatized from the divorce process. Keeping away from the ideas of winners and losers in your divorce can help these common goals be fulfilled. In the end, you will likely both realize that you have succeeded in protecting the things that are most important to you through the divorce process.
Trying to keep things as amicable and fair as possible throughout the divorce process is certainly a good idea, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do all that you can to protect yourself and your future throughout these proceedings. More often than not, keeping a certain level of civility with your soon-to-be ex-spouse is the best way to ensure this. This divorce will have undeniable impacts on all facets of your life, from your finances to your family dynamic to your overall lifestyle, and you need to be aware of that when engaging in negotiations. Fight hard for the things that you consider most important for your life going forward and avoid turning every molehill you come across into a mountain, pick your spots carefully and stick to them.
Think Long and Hard About Going to Trial
If you or your spouse cannot get the idea of winning the divorce out of their head, it is possible you may end up in court. In a divorce trial, the mediating aspect will be taken out of your hands and a judge will decide how things are allocated. Not only is court a lengthy process, it is expensive and less likely to leave you both feeling satisfied with the outcome of your divorce. While there are certainly aspects of a divorce worth going to trial over, it is best to first exhaust all options of trying to work together towards your common goals.