If you are getting a divorce, you likely have disagreements with your spouse about handling things like asset division and child custody. If these disputes become significant, they can slow down the divorce process as you fail to find compromises.
However, appropriate conflict resolution techniques can help keep disagreements from delaying the process. The following five strategies can help you minimize conflict during your divorce, allowing you to negotiate with your partner and efficiently find solutions that satisfy both of you.
1. Understand Your Priorities
You likely have assets or terms that you care about deeply for your final settlement. One of the best ways to reduce conflict in a divorce is to identify these priorities upfront so you know what to put first during negotiations.
For example, if you determine that maintaining your pension is important but do not have strong feelings about the family home, you have identified a potential compromise. You can put your top priorities first and avoid getting caught up in arguments about items that are not critical to your happiness and security after your divorce is finalized.
2. Look Beneath the Surface
Self-awareness can be an invaluable tool for preventing conflicts from escalating in your divorce. If you and your spouse are having a serious disagreement over who keeps the TV, the problem may not be the technology. You may be using the TV as a convenient excuse to fight when you are actually upset about other issues, such as feeling disrespected or abandoned.
If you notice yourself looking for excuses for conflict or refusing to compromise on minor issues during asset division, you may be facing a similar underlying problem. Take some time to consider your feelings and try to honestly identify why you feel the need to argue. You may find that being honest with yourself allows you to address the actual cause of your anger while allowing the divorce process to move forward.
3. Recognize Your Personal Fairness Bias
Another critical aspect of mitigating conflict is recognizing your bias towards yourself. In any dispute, both parties think they are in the right and that the other party is clearly wronging them. People believe they are right even when they are not because they are biased in their own favor. This can significantly impact your ability to resolve conflicts, particularly if neither you nor your spouse is willing to consider the other person’s point of view.
You can circumvent this by trying to understand the situation from your spouse’s perspective, even if you disagree. If you can demonstrate that you know why they are upset and why a given consideration in your divorce matters so much to them, you can help them feel understood and potentially more open to negotiating instead of arguing.
4. Avoid Escalation
When emotions run high, it may be tempting to take actions that escalate tensions. For example, if your spouse acts dismissive or ignores you, you may feel like you need to threaten litigation or take a hard-line stance on something they value. However, this approach can make your spouse feel threatened or overwhelmed, causing them to take similarly aggressive actions. In general, escalation makes your split significantly more complicated without significantly benefiting you.
Instead, work with an experienced attorney and trust them to help you keep a level head. Your attorney will guide you through the legal process and advise you on the best course of action. They can help you avoid rash or aggressive decisions that will not benefit you in the long run.
5. Take a Cooperative, Not Combative Approach
You can shape the entire course of your divorce by choosing the proper support from the beginning. Working with an attorney who specializes in cooperative divorce can help you start your divorce on the right foot. The expert attorneys at Bergman Family Law are prepared to guide you through the divorce process in a collaborative manner. We can assist you with negotiating necessary details about asset division and child custody with your spouse without pressuring you to be aggressive. You can learn more about how we can assist you in your collaborative divorce by scheduling your consultation today. Call our Miami and Broward area office at (954) 479-4358 or email us to get started.