How to Divorce
You or your spouse is considering divorce, and you’re wondering how to divorce.
The answer is unique to every person, couple, and family — but what is consistent is what you need to think about to choose the best way to divorce for you. It boils down to just two things:
- What Types of Divorce (i.e. What Divorce Processes) Are Available.
- What Actions You Can Take to Have the Best Divorce Possible, Regardless of Your Divorce Process.
Read on to learn how to divorce.
CT Divorce Types
There are three basic divorce options available in Connecticut. They are mediation, collaborative divorce, and litigation. Our divorce attorneys like to divide litigation into two types, low- and high-conflict litigation because our clients’ experience is very different depending on the tone their litigation takes.
Freed Marcroft’s divorce attorneys practice in all of the divorce types because we’ve learned that some options will work better for you depending on your goals.
As with litigation and collaborative divorce, mediating spouses can settle their entire divorce or family law matter via mediation. That includes property division, alimony, child support, child custody, and parenting. Mediation can be a particularly effective tool for the complex issues in high-net worth and international divorce and custody, and the nuances involved when dissolving same-sex marriages. Mediation is also a helpful option for resolving any Post Judgment problems or changes after divorce.
Both parties typically enter into mediation with specific goals. Once people understand their priorities, they can negotiate to get what they want while also giving the other party what he or she wants. The mediator will act as a guide during the entire process, going issue by issue while helping both sides reach an agreement.
Collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial and private process that focuses on reaching a creative divorce settlement that’s fair and meets the needs of both spouses and their family. At Freed Marcroft, team members are both experienced divorce attorneys and trained collaborative lawyers. Like mediation, collaborative practice is a voluntary litigation alternative. One major difference is that in a collaborative divorce, each spouse is fully represented throughout the negotiation by his or her own lawyer.
Litigated divorce remains the most common CT divorce type, although it is important to remember that “litigation” is not necessarily synonymous with “bitter courtroom battle.” You can be in complete agreement in most areas, but if you cannot come to terms on an important factor, such as the amount of alimony or all the details of the parenting plan, the court is there to make a decision.
How To Pick the Right CT Divorce Process for You
Once your divorce or child custody attorney knows about what matters most to you, she can begin the process of figuring out which of the three divorce and family law methods — litigation, collaborative divorce, and mediation –might be the right for you.
While we’re on this topic — make sure your family law firm has divorce attorneys experienced in all three approaches so you have the maximum options. The decision of how you work through the divorce will impact you and your family for years to come. For example, you don’t want to wind-up in a litigated divorce just because the lawyer you met with only litigates rather than because it’s best for your family. You also don’t want to wind up in a failed mediation just because you met with an attorney who only mediates.
Actions You Can Take to Have the Best Divorce Possible, Regardless of Your Divorce Process
Determine Your Goals
Divorce is a legal mechanism with tremendous power to change your life for the positive. Leaving an unhappy marriage for a better future is transformative.
But how do you determine what you want? How do you decide if what you have is better than the alternative? What future do you want to create?
Determining your goals is critical to designing your divorce itself — but doing is even more critical to ensuring your divorce is geared towards creating the life you want post-divorce.
For more on our to figure out your goals . . .
Communicate Effectively With Your Spouse
After your goals, two spouses’ ability to communicate effectively (effectively — not perfectly) is a key piece to having the best divorce possible. Although you cannot control your spouse’s communication, you are 100% in charge of how you communicate (and respond).
For five tips to communicate effectively with your spouse . . .
If you have a high conflict spouse . . .
Stay Focused on Your Goals
Those priorities you identified during your Goals & Planning Session? Don’t stick them in a drawer.
It’s easy to get swept up in the minutiae of the divorce and allow it to distract you from your big, important goals. You need to make decisions about how to handle the details, for sure. But when you make those decisions, make them in the context of the things that really matter to you. Don’t let little stuff Does an hour difference on pick up and drop off really matter, or does having substantial, quality time with your children matter?
You get the idea.
Keep yourself focused on the big picture (such as financial stability) rather than aggravating annoyances (a bill your spouse paid late). Make a physical list of your overarching goals in a secure, private location, and refer to it when you feel yourself getting agitated and sweating the small stuff.