Article written by Jackie Porter
When you said the words until death do us part you meant it. And so, it is painful to accept the fact that your partner changed their mind after declaring this promise to you in front of friends and family. You imagine how good it will feel to exact your revenge in divorce court. To make your partner pay for the way they have treated you in the marriage. Is that the best way to go as you move ahead with the divorce proceedings? Not so fast. Read on to learn why avoiding the court process and embracing an amicable divorce can be a more positive solution. (And provide you with the opportunity to leave the marriage with your mental health and finances intact.)
How will a legal battle affect your mental and overall health?
Divorce is considered the be one of the most stressful events any one can go through. Even more stressful than losing a spouse. This is because a divorce affects so many areas of your life. From potentially losing your home to your economic and social status. Divorce also impairs relationships. From friends you and your spouse shared, to family members including your in-laws and blood relatives who may have opinions on your divorce. All as you grieve the loss of your marriage and come to terms with how you and your children will move forward.
As you come to terms with your grief, you will need to negotiate with your ex and come to an agreement you can both live with at a time when you already feel so emotionally vulnerable. On the positive side, an amicable divorce can provide you with the framework to address these issues with your spouse, without making an already tenuous situation worse. Keep in mind, there are no guarantees when you contest the terms of a divorce in court. You may increasingly find your legal costs going up as more time passes, and then come to the end of your court battle without securing any of the items you went to court for in the first place and after having to relive many unpleasant memories in your marriage in the public arena.
Ballooning Legal Costs= Less Money for You Post Divorce
Unfortunately, litigation often means more billable hours and less money for you to finance your life after the divorce. Did you know that a if you decide to go to court, you will likely spend upwards of $90,000 and potentially much more? Keep in mind contesting your divorce means you more likely to contest finances, custody arrangements, and everything in between… Again, without any assurances you will get what you want… Remember its up to the judge presiding over your case to decide.
On the other hand, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and separation agreements are shared cost between yourself and your ex. A neutral third party helps you and your ex to work through the essential terms of your divorce. They then assists you in coming up with possible solutions to resolve the conflict. The dispute resolution occurs in a private setting, with the goal of helping both parties to identify options most important to them to reduce conflict. You can process your divorce sooner and save you money. Once you agree to the terms of your amicable divorce, review this agreement with your personal lawyer before signing.
Are you prepared for the legal battle to last longer than you expected?
Unfortunately, legal disputes rarely end quickly. This means that dragging you ex through the court process may take much longer than expected. The average divorce can take more than two years before going to trial. You may not realize that family court was already backlogged before the pandemic. Are you prepared for court delays that could take years before your case is heard? Not to mention carrying around the emotional baggage associated with divorce that has not been finalized. Would you really want to continue to relive the pain and heartache in family court years later as you try to rebuild your life and put it behind you?
How will waging war on your spouse affect the kids?
Consider how an all-out legal challenge may impact your children. Especially as you co-parent. Keep in mind the psychological impacts of a non collaborative or amicable divorce can affect your children for many years to come.
Its important for you to know that there are alternatives. For example, a good family lawyer can help you to draft an agreement with your ex that covers who the children will live with, how much time and child support each parent gets, as well as other child related expenses. The parenting plan can also incorporate how you will communicate as you continue to parent your children. This can go a long way in helping to build family harmony as your children witness how you both deal with the breakdown of the marriage. Keep all these facts in mind as you determine whether choosing an all-out legal battle versus working through an amicable divorce is truly worth it.