Teamwork tips for divorce

When you and your spouse prepare to end your marriage, it may seem natural to view divorce as a practical and symbolic end to the team you have been. However, throughout the legal process, you are still a team with the same objectives, and if you can maintain this outlook, both of you may benefit substantially.

Here are some suggestions for resolving conflicts smoothly during divorce.

Listen actively

It is easy to fall into the trap of formulating an answer to another person while he or she is still speaking, but if you do this, you will not really understand what your spouse is saying. Instead, try to listen without forming an opinion. When you understand your spouse’s goals, thoughts and feelings, it will be easier for you to respond with empathy.

Look for win-win outcomes

Compromising may seem like losing if you are giving up the things you really want, so you and your spouse need to search for ways to resolve every conflict fairly. Approach negotiations with compassion and respect to help identify equitable solutions.

Empower yourself

Having control in a conflict does not mean manipulating your spouse, but taking responsibility for your own behaviors. Do your part to keep the peace, and trust your spouse to do the same. Look at each conflict as a lesson to learn rather than a fight to win.

Stay positive

During the emotional turmoil of the end of the relationship, self-pity, anger and other negative responses often create a downward spiral that is difficult to defeat. One method to counter these emotions is to make a list of things you are grateful for each day.

Choose the right attorney

If you and your spouse each hire a lawyer focused on battling things out in court, you may not have the encouragement you need to negotiate your settlement without conflict. Those who offer collaborative and cooperative divorce are much more likely to help you resolve your disputes without a fight.


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