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7 Steps You Can Take to Defuse Conflict During Your Divorce

 Posted on March 27, 2024 in Divorce

Elmhurst, IL divorce lawyerGetting a divorce is inherently challenging. When your marriage has broken down, you are likely to experience a variety of difficult emotions, such as anger, sadness, betrayal, and anxiety about the future. At the same time, you may be overwhelmed by the many legal, financial, and practical issues that you will need to address as you separate from your spouse, establish new living arrangements, determine how to share custody of your children, and divide your marital property. Conflict with your spouse about the causes of your divorce, issues involving your property and children, and other divorce-related concerns can make this process even more difficult.

To ensure that you will be able to address all legal issues related to your divorce, separate from your spouse successfully, and move forward with your life, you will likely want to consider how you can reduce conflict and focus on completing the divorce process. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. When you are struggling to get a handle on all of the issues you will need to address while coping with the changes you are experiencing in your life, it can be all too easy for arguments to arise and grow into major conflicts. By understanding the best approach to take during your divorce, you can attempt to reduce conflict and resolve legal and financial issues successfully.

Adopting a constructive approach to your divorce can significantly reduce tensions, making the process smoother for you, your spouse, and your children. As you navigate the divorce process, a skilled and experienced attorney can be an invaluable partner, helping you understand how to manage disputes effectively and address the legal concerns in your case. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we can help you determine the best strategies to use to reach an amicable resolution to the disputes in your divorce. We will work closely with you, making sure you understand your rights and options at all times and advising you on the best approach to take to ensure that you will be able to move forward into the next chapter of your life. Here are seven of the best strategies we have found for reducing conflict in divorce. 

Legal and Financial Preparedness

Being fully prepared to address the issues involved in the divorce process can help you minimize conflict, since it will ensure that you understand your rights and the ways the laws will apply to your situation. As you prepare to address divorce-related concerns, you can familiarize yourself with the equitable division of marital property under Illinois law, the rights of parents when allocating parental responsibilities and parenting time, the factors that affect child support calculations, and the criteria for eligibility for spousal support.

You can also prepare to address financial concerns by gathering records related to the assets you own, the income earned by both you and your spouse, and any debts you owe. Documents such as pay stubs, bank and credit card statements, tax returns, loan documents, investment accounts, retirement plan statements, or any other relevant financial records can provide invaluable information about your family’s finances. With this information on hand, you can help avoid conflict about financial issues and work to make decisions that will benefit all parties involved.

Seek Professional Help

Attempting to handle divorce-related issues on your own is likely to lead to problems that are difficult to resolve. By partnering with professionals who can help you handle concerns related to your divorce, you can determine the best ways to address your concerns the first time they come up and complete the process with minimal conflict.

Your attorney is your most important partner during the legal process of ending your marriage. She will provide guidance on how Illinois law will apply in your situation, and can help you develop strategies for achieving your goals. With a legal advisor and advocate on your side, you can have confidence that you are taking the right approach to resolve disputes while minimizing conflict as much as possible.

Other experts may also provide advice and guidance on the best ways to proceed as you address divorce-related issues. Financial professionals such as forensic accountants can review the documents you have gathered and help you understand the steps you can take to protect your interests when dividing marital property or establishing financial support. You may also work with mental health professionals such as a therapist or psychiatrist to address the emotional concerns you encounter during the divorce process and come up with strategies to avoid conflict and resolve disputes with your spouse.

Embrace a Collaborative Mindset

If you are looking to complete your divorce with minimal conflict, you may consider whether a collaborative divorce is the best approach to take. In a collaborative divorce, you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys will commit to resolving disputes outside of court. This approach fosters open communication, mutual respect, and problem-solving, significantly reducing conflict.

By focusing on cooperation rather than confrontation, a collaborative divorce can save time and resources. It can also minimize stress and preserve a positive relationship with your spouse after your divorce has been finalized. This can be particularly beneficial when you will be sharing custody of your children, since an ongoing focus on cooperation can ensure that the two of you will be able to work together to provide for your children’s needs.

Improve Communication

Clear and respectful communication between you and your spouse can prevent misunderstandings and reduce tension as you work to resolve divorce-related issues. Rather than focusing on the reasons for your divorce or returning to old arguments, you can focus on addressing and resolving the legal concerns related to your divorce. 

You may be able to discuss your concerns and address issues that may affect you during and after the divorce process. When doing so, you can use “I” statements to express your feelings without assigning blame, and you can actively listen to your spouse’s perspective. By focusing on working together to find solutions, you can help avoid arguments and maintain a positive relationship as much as possible.

Mediation may be a beneficial way to discuss your case and work together to reach agreements. During mediation, a neutral third party will facilitate discussions, helping you and your spouse reach mutually acceptable agreements. Mediators are trained to handle tough emotional dynamics, and can guide you toward constructive solutions. This can be a great way to minimize conflicts and focus on resolving your legal concerns and completing the divorce process quickly and efficiently.

Develop a Co-Parenting Strategy

If you and your spouse have children, you will need to address a variety of child-related issues during your divorce. You will be required to create a comprehensive parenting plan that will detail how you will share decision-making responsibilities for your children, when your children will spend parenting time with each of you, and a variety of other concerns.

An effective parenting plan will allow you and your spouse to work together as co-parents and provide for your children’s ongoing needs. Effective co-parenting requires ongoing collaboration, and by discussing child-related issues and reaching agreements during the divorce process, you can establish a positive working relationship that encourages cooperation and communication. By focusing on what is best for your children, you can significantly reduce conflict and provide stability for your family in the years to come.

Prioritize Your Emotional Well-Being

Divorce can be emotionally draining. Focusing on your own needs can help you make sure you will be able to get through this process successfully. Activities like exercise, therapy, or hobbies can help improve your mental state, ensuring that you will be able to approach the divorce process more calmly and rationally. This can help you avoid conflict whenever possible and resolve issues in a way that will provide for your ongoing well-being.

Support networks can be invaluable during this time. You may be able to lean on friends or family for emotional support, or you may connect with support groups where you can meet with others who are going through similar issues. Sharing your experiences and receiving advice can provide comfort and perspective during this challenging time, and it can help you determine the best ways to achieve your goals through cooperation with your spouse rather than engaging in arguments and conflict.

Focus on the Big Picture

As you proceed through the divorce process, it is important to keep your long-term objectives in mind. You can take steps to determine the best ways to maintain financial stability, such as by cutting back on expenses to make sure you will be able to save money. You can also focus on providing for your children's well-being and being an engaged parent who is involved in their lives. This perspective can help you choose your battles wisely and avoid getting entangled in petty disputes.

Strategies for Completing Your Divorce Efficiently

Ultimately, you may want to focus on resolving divorce-related concerns quickly and with minimal conflict in order to complete your case as efficiently as possible. Avoiding long, drawn-out, contentious legal battles can help minimize the costs of your divorce while also preserving your peace of mind. Some strategies for doing so include:

  • Set realistic goals: Understand what is achievable during your case and focus on what truly matters to you.

  • Choose the right legal path: Whether you plan to use mediation, collaborative divorce, or litigation, it is important to select an approach that is appropriate for your situation while determining the best steps to take to resolve legal concerns effectively.

  • Stay organized: Keeping legal and financial documents and communication with your spouse and your attorney well-organized can help you expedite the legal process and avoid complications.

  • Avoid litigation when possible: Resolving issues in the courtroom can prolong the divorce process, and it may cause conflicts to escalate. Using alternative dispute resolution methods to address divorce-related concerns outside of court can help reduce the time and expense needed to complete your divorce.

  • Be proactive: Addressing issues promptly and being willing to compromise can speed up the divorce process and reduce the potential for prolonged disputes. Considering the issues that will need to be addressed and taking steps to resolve them before they lead to conflict can be very beneficial in the long run.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Collaborative Divorce Attorney

Your divorce will require a thoughtful approach as you determine the best ways to minimize conflict, resolve all outstanding legal issues, and take steps to transition to the next chapter of your life. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, our experienced Elmhurst divorce lawyers are committed to providing you with compassionate and effective representation during your divorce. We will guide you through each step of the process, protecting your interests and helping you achieve your goals. Contact us at 312-605-4041 to arrange a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you in managing conflict as you work to complete your divorce as efficiently as possible.

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