Peace in Division

Have you ever wondered why it is so challenging to find answers to your questions about divorce? If the divorce process were consistent throughout the nation, we might have simpler guidelines to follow. In reality, divorce law varies from state to state with some states recognizing common law marriage. In a few, no fault is a valid reason for divorce while in others, the couple must state some accusatory justification.

Common law marriage is a union between two people who decide to stay together without acquiring a marriage license. The amount of time together varies, but two years together to require a divorce is typical. Common law is based on past precedent and court examples rather than legislation.

Divorce could be simpler if the law did not muddy up the process for dividing assets and sharing custody. Most divorces result from dissatisfaction, anger, or resentment, providing fuel for a heated argument. If couples were enlightened about better ways to get a divorce beforehand, and if they knew how much a battle could cost them, they might tamper down their tempers and work harder to negotiate civilly.

But the way the system was designed, we unfortunately succumb to emotions which lengthens the process. Ultimately, this translates to spending more money as the draft agreement is repeatedly revised. The problem stems from lawyers fighting relentlessly for the best terms for their clients instead of aiming for an agreement both can live with.  The system does not put anything in place to stop lawyers from lying to achieve better outcomes. They can go to court and lie to the judge about the situation with no consequences.

Many marriages have enough fuel for the battle without throwing oil on the fire. In the end, the long battle will cost more money and may rob you both of the finances needed to start a new life on your own.

If you could see into the future and understand the cost in terms of money, stress, and unhappiness, you might want an alternative and realize you’d be better off not fighting over a minute point so you can both move on peacefully.

There are alternative divorce options available. Mediation is a good option for couples capable of holding a civil conversation and finding some terms for agreement. If you can do that, you can avoid litigation, years in court, gigantic legal bills and turning your kids’ lives upside down.

The mediator does not represent either one of you. He or she facilitates negotiation through conversation and counseling. If the two of you are yelling or refuse to negotiate, then mediation won’t work, and you will be told to seek attorneys. If your goal is getting the process done quickly with the least amount of cost for everyone involved, you have to work together and make some sacrifices. Getting everything you want is not as important as getting started on a better foot towards a happier future. If you can minimize hostilities, the post-divorce experience will be better off for it.