In your anxiousness to be free of your spouse and make the process as quick as possible, you may want to jump right into a divorce. However, simply knowing you both want a divorce is not enough to begin the process.
The approach you take will set the tone not only for your divorce proceedings, but also for the years after. Therefore, it is wise to sit down and ask yourself, as well as your spouse, these three questions first.
1. Do you have hostile feelings?
Feelings of hostility and a desire for revenge only lead to pain and suffering for everyone involved, as well as for your wallet. If you harbor resentment toward your spouse, seek professional counseling to work through those feelings so you can approach your divorce from a more stable emotional state and cooperative attitude. Divorce does not have to entail ugly court battles.
2. What do you want from the divorce?
Understanding what you want from the divorce can help you decide on the right method and uncover any adversarial feelings you may have. If you want a quick and inexpensive divorce with the most benefit for your children, try mediation. This involves a third-party facilitator who helps you and your current spouse agree on the terms of your divorce. If you desire cooperation but also want to ensure your rights or have many complex issues to navigate, collaborative law is a better choice. Each of you and your lawyers will meet together to negotiate an agreement out of court. If you desire safety from an abusive spouse, then litigation is an appropriate choice.
3. Is your attorney on board with your wishes?
You and your spouse may be on the same page, but if either of you hires an aggressive lawyer, then your civilized divorce is unlikely. Make sure you find the right fit in the person who will represent you. Your attorney should understand, respect and work toward your goals.