You never intend to separate and get a divorce when you get married, but it happens at an alarmingly high rate. Many divorces are peaceful, and ex-spouses remain friends for life. However, as most people know, many divorces are very ugly, messy, ridden with conflict, domestic violence, false allegations, time-consuming, and very expensive.
But there is good news. A divorce doesn't have to be this way. It's up to you and your spouse to decide on a civil and peaceful divorce and then carry it out. Yes, that is often easier said than done, but other divorcing couples usually do it, and you can too.
In other words, your life didn't work out exactly as planned, and now you're getting a divorce. In some cases, you could even feel happy and relieved you won't have to live with your significant any longer.
Perhaps you don't even want to remain friends and don't want your family to have any relations with your ex-spouse still. Fine. That still doesn't mean your divorce process has to get ugly. It's a choice. The storm will pass.
It's not always easy for spouses to keep their feeling of bitterness and betrayal under control. So, what is a spouse supposed to do when they want to scream and make life miserable for their husband or wife? Don't. Nobody benefits from this approach, especially children caught up in the middle of a battle.
Unfortunately, spouses often channel their emotions through their divorce lawyers and expect them to engage their spouses and opposing attorneys very aggressively in court. This is not wise and won't help you with California family court judges who have seen it all already and won't tolerate it.
Our Los Angeles divorce and family law attorneys will take a closer look below.
Best Interest of Your Children
Do you need to find some motivation to keep the divorce civil? Here's a biggest one: what effect does your divorce have on your children?
Can you think of anything worse than children watching their parents verbally insult each other or physical abuse? What effect can that have on their long-term emotional health?
In the middle of the divorce, you need to stop thinking about being unreasonable and whether your kids are indeed at the top of your priority list. You should sit down and talk to your children and tell them what is happening.
Remember, stability in a child's life is essential, and you need to keep their lives as stable as possible. It's not easy, but you can reduce the emotional roller coaster your kids will experience with effective communication and support.
Don't make your kids pay the price despite your differences with your spouse. It's not their fault, and you should protect them as best as you can. They can be the common civil bond between you and your spouse.
Essential Issues to Resolve While Dealing with Emotions
A motivating factor to keep your divorce civil is to take just a moment to realize that you have many important issues to resolve, and fighting with your spouse will make it much harder.
It's easy to get emotionally wrapped up in the initial heat of a divorce, but you have to stop and understand that you will most likely be dealing with your ex-spouse for many years after the divorce is finalized.
Put simply, look at the big picture and long-term consequences of decisions you will be making during the divorce process. If you have children, keeping their best interest in mind can often help you deal with emotions and keep relations civil and peaceful with your spouse. When kids are involved, it's not about you!
Further, with all of your emotions trying to drag you down, you need to realize several important issues have to be resolved, such as:
If your marriage lasts long enough, you will also have to divide retirement accounts. Perhaps the most important reason to keep civil relations during divorce is the issue of child custody and support that require a long-term commitment and frequent contact with your ex-spouse.
Even when your children become young adults, there are still many personal interactions you will likely have with your spouses, such as graduations and weddings.
Try to keep your emotions in check and understand that keeping future conflicts to a minimum is in your best interest.
Divorce is not a pleasant experience, and you must accept it will become emotional and uncomfortable, but this is the regular part of the healing process. You will probably find if you are cooperative and act in good faith with your spouse, they will likely do the same with you. It's a choice to cooperate.
When spouses commit to cooperating during divorce proceedings due to the best interest of their kids, then the process will almost always go much smoother.
Tips on How to Keep Your Divorce Civil
There are some strategies to consider to maintain your civility and dignity while getting a divorce, such as;
- Put your children first – there is nothing worse than children being forced to watch their parents constantly fighting;
- Seek help from family and friends – regular emotional support from family members can help you deal with divorce issues or professional therapist;
- Commit to controlling your emotions – this is not always easy, but try to remember it's only a life transition and will pass at some point;
- Take care of your health – divorce can place a lot of stress on your body, and you need to be aware of eating right and regular exercise;
- Be rational – do not start demanding things in the divorce out of anger, revenge, or spite. Keep the big picture in mind;
- Educate yourself – if you take time to learn about the divorce process, you will know what to expect, and it will reduce stress;
- Consult with a divorce lawyer – your long-term financial security is crucial, and a divorce professional can help you secure it;
- Slow down – avoid making quick decisions over important divorce issues so that you won't have to communicate any longer with your spouse;
- Don't focus on all negative issues – try to focus on the positives from the marriage, such as your spouse being a good parent to your kids.
The Use of Common Sense
Many people who are not engaged in a divorce will believe the right decisions will just come naturally and by intuition. Unfortunately, many people in the middle of an emotional firestorm forget common sense and will make decisions that unnecessarily complicate their lives.
Many will deal with the stress by not eating right or excessively drinking alcohol. Many others will let anger and resentment take over and become destructive by destroying property or giving away the family pets.
Yes, divorce is complex, and it's not always easy to act responsibly in the middle of ending a long-term relationship. Common sense is often overlooked in the middle of a storm.
Simply put, it's in your best interest to maintain civility and a working relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Further, reaching mutual agreements over the divorce is crucial without the intervention of a California family court.
Common sense says you will have to reasonably communicate basic information with your spouse after the divorce. This means maintaining some civility during the divorce is very important. Common sense also says that if you are civil towards your spouse, then you will generally find it will be returned back to you.
If you need legal assistance in a divorce, our law firm can help you with child support, child custody, spousal support, dividing property, and other related family law matters.
Furman & Zavatsky are Los Angeles divorce and family law lawyers located at 17207 Ventura Blvd. #2 Encino, CA 91316, which is in the San Fernando Valley.
We serve people in LA County, Ventura County, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino. We offer a free case review by calling 818-528-3471 or you can fill out our contact form.