New Jersey Family Law Blog
Keeping Your Divorce Amicable
While not every divorce can be resolved without at least some amount of litigation (having to argue and decide aspects of your divorce in a court room), the more you and your spouse can avoid the necessity of divorce litigation, the faster, cheaper, and less stressful your divorce will be. So, if you are committed to having a more amicable, negotiation-centered divorce, it is important that you approach your divorce and your spouse in ways which do not antagonize the situation, and make having an amicable divorce more difficult, if not impossible.
With this in mind, here are a few tips for how you can initiate, pursue, and finalize your divorce in a healthy and amicable manner without needing to resort to expensive and stressful litigation.
“Communicate your feelings” Randolph, NJ Divorce Attorneys
You may not want to discuss divorce with your spouse, but communicating you are unhappy in the marriage is something that needs to be done. Surprising your spouse with divorce papers will likely result in resentment and compromise your ability to resolve other issues amicably. Explain your feelings openly but avoid arguing about the past. If you have already decided to divorce, there is no point dredging up every old disagreement. Stick to the current state of your marriage and look towards a brighter future.
If possible, discuss the logistics of the divorce before filing paperwork. If you are able to agree (even tentatively) on visitation schedules or the division of assets, it will be less of a shock to see it in writing later on. It is also important to remember to balance this with being informed and having an understanding about your rights under the laws. You do not want to agree to a division of assets without understanding what you may, or may not, be entitled to. If you are making uninformed agreements with the intent of being amicable, this may be to your financial detriment in the future. So when communicating your feelings, be sure to be careful in what you say and what you agree-upon if you have not yet spoken with an attorney about your rights.
“Focus on your children” Denville, NJ Divorce and Child Custody Lawyers
Remind your children often that the divorce is not their fault and they are loved very much. Avoid sudden changes to their daily routine without discussing the changes with them in advance. Encourage them to ask questions and then answer them in a manner appropriate for their age. A five-year-old will have different questions and require different information than a fifteen-year-old. Under no circumstances should you speak ill of your spouse to the children or in front of the children. It does not matter how poorly your ex may have acted during the marriage; putting down a child’s parent only hurts the child. Also remember that visitation can extend beyond regularly scheduled times. Inviting your co-parent to your child’s dance recital, soccer game or birthday party (even if it’s not their day) benefits the child most. It sends the signal that they, not the divorce, are still foremost in your thoughts.
“Do your homework” Florham Park, NJ Divorce and Mediation Attorneys
Research the particular laws in your state concerning divorce. Many states permit “no-fault” divorces, allowing a couple to obtain a divorce without having to accuse either party of being “at fault.” In New Jersey, either an eighteen month separation (separate households, not just separate bedrooms) or irreconcilable differences can count as grounds for a no-fault divorce. If it is possible to file for divorce using a no-fault basis, this means that any sensitive underlying issues can be left out of the courtroom. Even if one of the at-fault grounds for divorce is an option, such as infidelity, there is rarely any benefit to rehashing painful marital problems in court documents. It also makes it more difficult to negotiate fair terms with your partner when one party is now “the accused.” Your goal should be an expedient resolution to your case so you can move on – regardless of the terminology for grounds.
Beyond a no-fault divorce, Alternative Dispute Resolution such as divorce mediation can be a great way of lowering tensions and working with your spouse, rather than against them, to achieve divorce settlements which are fair to both of you. This also helps protect the stability of your finances and your relationship with your children.
“Reach out for Support” Hanover, NJ Family Law Firm
Making a divorce a positive experience necessitates keeping a positive mindset. Know what resources are available to guide you along the way. A counselor can help you reflect on your emotions and discuss strategies for making positive decisions. Mediators can provide a safe place for both you and your spouse to discuss logistics and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard fairly. And of course, simply discussing your feelings and concerns with a close friend or family member can help to relieve stress, keep you positive and motivated, and help you stay focused on what is important to you and your children.
Contact Our Morris County Divorce and Family Law Firm Today
At Jacobs Berger, our family law attorneys have extensive experience guiding and advising clients successfully through the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Morris County including Randolph, Denville, Florham Park, Hanover, Madison, Morris Township, and Morristown.
The unique approach of our firm focuses on finding ways to resolve divorce issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of assets which protect the interests of our clients, but also protects their relationship with their partner to help yield a successful co-parenting relationship and financial stability for the family unit. This means pursuing a more negotiation focused strategy, providing our clients with a professional support network such as mental health professionals, counselors, and financial planners, and truly listening to and understanding the unique needs, concerns, and situations of our clients and their families.
To speak with our legal team today regarding your divorce, the different options available to you for pursuing a divorce, or how we can help you to resolve any specific divorce or post-divorce issue, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 718-7705.