10 Ways to Reduce Conflict During Your Divorce in WI
Brookfield Divorce Mediation to Reduce Conflict
There are several reasons that divorce can lead to intense conflict between spouses. Aside from being expensive and stressful, these cases involve taking the most personal aspects of someone’s life and subjecting them to a very impersonal (and often public) process. Additionally, the decisions made during divorce will impact those involved for the rest of their lives, and the consequences can be emotionally and financially draining for both parties. The good news is that not every divorce has to be high-conflict, and there are ways that the parties can minimize issues between them during the case.
Here are 10 Ways to Reduce Conflict During Your Divorce:
1.Choose a Collaborative Divorce if Possible
If you and your ex are on the same page about the divorce and want to have a cooperative divorce, choosing a Collaborative Divorce could be the best option. The divorce model allows both sides to work with specially trained Collaborative Divorce attorneys and professionals to settle divorce issues while respecting the needs of everyone in the family.
2.Use Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation allows the parties to work with a divorce mediator to settle some or all of their issues outside of court. The mediator, who may be a family law attorney or former judge, is trained to work with each side to help negotiate an agreement. In Wisconsin, divorce mediation is typically less expensive and time-consuming than a trial. They also allow the parties to develop personalized terms that fit their circumstances.
3.Establish Ground Rules
If you and your ex agree you should divorce, or that it's inevitable, and can have a civil discussion before the process begins, you can establish specific ground rules about how you want to conduct yourselves. For instance, if you have kids, you can plan to tell them about the divorce together and agree that neither one will talk about the other in a negative way around them. You may also establish rules about treating each other with respect during the process. These agreements may not be binding, but by having a discussion about being respectful beforehand, you and your ex can set the tone for a less contentious divorce.
4.Avoid Social Media
Social media has become an increasingly popular way for family and friends to communicate about their lives. Posting about your pending divorce, or how much you miss your kids while they are with your ex, or anything connected to your case can increase conflict. Additionally, your posts can also be used as evidence in the case. Although a post may be intended to share information or gain support, social media commentary or activity tends to be harmful during divorce cases and is best left out. You also cannot control what other people say in response to your posts, and there’s no point in escalating the drama between you and your spouse just because a friend wants to be supportive online.
5.Listen to Your Attorney
When you consulted with and hired your family law attorney, it was to get their advice and guidance regarding your Wisconsin divorce. Your attorney has experience and expertise that can help you make decisions about your case, but only if you listen. If your counsel advises you to avoid taking a specific action, there is probably a good reason. Make sure that you are not acting out of emotion and that you take what your lawyer has to say into consideration.
6.Think Before Acting
When you are involved in a divorce, some of the things that matter most to you in the world will be on the line. Your children, your home, your ability to support yourself financially in the future, and everything you have worked for during your marriage will be decided during the case. If you feel like your ex is out of order when it comes to a request regarding one of the issues that you care about the most, you may be tempted to react. Before you demand a hearing or fire off a round of discovery, contact your attorney and find out more about the request. When you think before acting, you can find out more and avoid getting into unnecessary conflict.
7.Maintain Your Composure, No Matter What Happens
As much as you would prefer for both you and your ex to engage in the process appropriately, it may be that your ex is more hostile than you would like. This may be because your ex's attorney has an aggressive litigation style or because your ex is attempting to misuse the process. Maintaining your composure and not resorting to the same tactics will help your case and minimize conflict. Your attorney will know how to protect you, and the judge will not appreciate spurious claims or actions on behalf of your ex.
8.Attend to Your Emotional Health
Divorce can be a grueling process, and you can help make it less hostile by taking care of your emotional health. If you have certain practices that help you manage stress, make sure you are employing them. Talking with a therapist may be helpful during this time as well. Keeping your emotional well-being in balance will help you better manage stress and reduce potential conflict during your case.
9.Use Your Support System Appropriately
Having a support system during divorce is essential to maintaining your well-being. When those you love and trust are around, it can be a strong sense of comfort. However, it's important not to take the supportive advice of a well-meaning friend or loved one too far. Depending on your support system, you may have people in your life who will inadvertently add conflict to your case. For instance, the best friend who reports to you on what your ex is doing or encourages you to drive by their house may not help keep conflict out of your case. Set boundaries and let your support system know the kind of support you need right now. You don’t want to do things at a friend’s urging that are against your attorney’s advice.
10.Establish or Maintain a Physical Health Regimen
If you have a fitness program, do your best to maintain your routine. If you don't have a physical activity practice, consider starting one. When you exercise, the brain releases serotonin and reduces stress in the body. Exercise also helps with better sleep. Make sure you are getting proper nutrition and adequate rest. Divorce is stressful, and attending to your physical health can reduce the impact on your body. The healthier you are, the better state you will be in to participate in the process. Less stress means a greater ability to act rationally and think clearly, which lowers conflict.
Attorney and Mediator Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law has extensive experience assisting clients during and after divorce.