If you’re like most people, you want your divorce to go as smoothly as possible. You’d like to minimize conflict and just make it through with your head above water – and that’s probably true whether you’re just starting to think about a split or you’re riding out California’s 6-month divorce waiting period. The good news: There are three ways you can simplify your divorce right now.
3 Ways to Simplify Your Divorce (Even Before You File)
Check out these three ways you can simplify your divorce:
- Get ready to cooperate.
- Organize everything.
- Start negotiating as early as possible.
Here’s a closer look at each.
#1. Get Ready to Cooperate
You don’t have to get along with your spouse. You don’t even have to spend time in the same room together or have lengthy discussions over the phone.
However, you do need to prepare yourself – and ask your spouse to prepare him- or herself – to cooperate with each other throughout the process.
Cooperating means working together to achieve an outcome you can both live with. It also means co-parenting your children so that they have as much stability and continuity as possible during (and after) your divorce.
If you and your spouse are having a hard time seeing eye-to-eye, your attorney might suggest that you work with a mediator. A mediator is an impartial third party whose sole job is to find common ground. You can mediate every issue in your divorce, from child custody to property division.
Sometimes it’s not possible to cooperate with your spouse, and that’s okay. Some people are naturally combative and won’t budge. If that’s the case, don’t worry. Your Stockton divorce lawyer can still do what it takes to get you the best possible outcome.
Related: What is divorce mediation?
#2. Organize Everything
Gather all your important documents and keep them together to simplify your divorce. You may need things like:
- Tax returns
- Children’s birth certificates
- Social Security numbers
- Insurance policies
- Bank statements
- Pay stubs
- Credit card statements
- Mortgage documents
- Business-related documents
- Pension or retirement account statements
Your attorney may need these types of documents throughout your divorce, so if you have everything organized, they’ll be easy to find when the time comes.
You don’t have to keep a paper file folder with this information in it. Instead, you can keep digital copies on your computer or in the cloud. Remember, though, when you have all your documents together, you should take steps to protect them. That might include putting them in a safe (if they’re physical copies) or putting them in a password-protected file on your computer.
Related: The ultimate divorce checklist
#3. Start Negotiating as Early as Possible
You may not feel like negotiating with your spouse, but it’s very important that you try if you want to simplify your divorce. Before you head into negotiations with your spouse, decide what you’ll be okay with – and what you can give up to get what you want.
Commit to choosing your battles. You don’t have to fight for things you don’t want just for the sake of “winning.” A successful divorce is one in which you walk away reasonably satisfied with the outcome.
Incidentally, that’s how a lot of people – even those who don’t want to fight – view divorce. It’s not a win-or-lose battle. It’s the dissolution of a marriage in which both parties need to come away with some concessions. In fact, it’s a lot like a business transaction.
Why Should You Try to Simplify Your Divorce?
The bottom line is that it’s mentally healthier for you to keep your divorce as simple as possible. By extension, it’s better for your children, too. You’ll be less stressed and better equipped to make sound decisions that affect your future.
Are You Ready to Simplify Your Divorce?
If you’re thinking about divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, we may be able to help you. We want you to be able to simplify your divorce, and we’ll do what it takes to get you the best possible outcome.