Most people think to have a “good divorce”, it would mean that they win everything, and their spouse is left bereft and remorseful. This is not very realistic, and it almost never happens.
Divorce attorneys see it differently. From their point of view, a good divorce has at its foundation a fair and equitable resolution.
There are a few factors that contribute to a successful uncoupling. The single most important? Take the emotion out of it. Accept that you are dividing assets, time with the children, property, and retirement savings. No strategy, no “killer attorney,” is going to change that. It is somewhat like dealing with the IRS: Once they are involved you are going to have to give something up. When couples get carried away with who did what and who doesn’t deserve what they are asking for, the progress stalls, the fees rise, and stress goes through the roof.
Don’t have attorneys – or the court – settle details you and your spouse should settle, like who gets the dog and whether both parents should be able to go to Back to School Night. If your spouse is a wacko, breathe deep, and don’t be drawn into the fray. Impossible spouses generally reveal themselves for what they are, and the process moves forward despite their theatrics.
A loose custody agreement is also a desirable quality. The more the couple works together to raise their children – being flexible about schedules, honoring the children’s feelings towards the other parent, supporting each other through challenging situations, helping to drive kids even when it isn’t your custodial day – the happier a divorced family is likely to be.
Financial records are an essential part of the divorce process. They should be open and available. Do not try to hide them, or misrepresent values. Do not try to liquidate accounts and store money somewhere else. It all comes out in the wash anyway, so attempts to mislead or hide records could be damaging to your case. When it comes to discovery, honesty is the best policy.
In a way, the concept of a “good” divorce is hollow from the start. There is nothing good about divorce. But there are ways to make the process smoother, and less stressful. We have listed a few suggestions on how to do that. In the end, the couple’s approach toward the whole matter can make all the difference in the world.