6 Tips for Avoiding a Contested Divorce 1

It is no secret that divorce can be an overwhelming and challenging process. Making it contested makes the situation even more difficult. A contested divorce occurs when both parties cannot agree on issues such as child custody, child support, division of properties, spousal support, and the reason for divorce. This can lead to a lengthy and draining court battle, which is why it is important to avoid it.

Both divorcing parties can employ plenty of strategies to avoid a contested divorce and aim for an amicable and cooperative resolution. We discuss these strategies in this blog. But before that, let’s discuss why avoiding a contested divorce is essential.

Why you should avoid a contested divorce

A Las Vegas contested divorce can be complex and emotionally draining, so you should strive to avoid it. Here are some reasons to avoid a contested divorce.

  • It is time-consuming

Resolving a contested divorce can take a long time. Depending on the complexities involved, the process can take anywhere from a few months to up to two years. This lengthy duration is often attributed to disagreements between the parties on issues such as the division of marital assets, child custody, child support, and spousal support, which require several rounds of mediation, negotiations, and even a trial for resolution.

  • Too much paperwork

Another downside of a contested divorce is that both parties must prepare and submit numerous documents highlighting various aspects of their lives. These documents include reasons for divorce, a proposed parenting plan, a proposed matrimonial division plan, a Statement of Particulars with details of what happened in the marriage, etc.

  • It can be costly

A contested divorce can cost $35,000 or more, depending on the complexities involved. This isn’t the case with an uncontested divorce; the cost ranges from $1200-$2500, which is way cheaper.

  • Mentally exhausting

Finally, a contested divorce can also take a toll on your mental health. Appearing in courtrooms for months is not only expensive but can be mentally exhausting, too. It is common for accusations and counter-accusations to be thrown in the court. This can make the process painful and cruel.

How to avoid a contested divorce

As you have seen, a contested divorce has many downsides, which is why it should be avoided if possible, especially if you want to safeguard your finances and mental health. Here are tips to help you avoid contested divorce.

  • Communicate openly and honestly.

One of the most effective ways to avoid making your divorce become contested is by maintaining open lines of communication. Having honest discussions can help you understand each other’s needs and perspectives. It is not just about having open and honest discussions; you should use respectful and clear language to express your desires and concerns. Ensure you listen to your spouse’s worries without interrupting or becoming defensive. Moreover, avoid blaming or accusatory language that could escalate the situation.

  • Seek mediation or collaborative divorce.

Many people tend to underestimate the power of having a mediator in divorce, which is quite unfortunate. A mediator plays a crucial role in the divorce process. A mediator is a neutral professional who can help you and your spouse communicate and negotiate to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation is also more cost-effective compared to going to court.

Collaborative divorce, on the other hand, involves the divorcing parties, their lawyers, and, in some cases, professionals like a financial advisor working together to resolve issues amicably. All the parties agree not to go to court but instead to work towards a settlement. This can go a long way in preventing the divorce from becoming contested.

  • Prioritize issues and be willing to compromise.

Of course, another strategy to avoid a contested divorce with your spouse is identifying your priorities [e.g. financial security, child custody, specific assets, etc.], which can channel discussions on these issues. Consequently, to avoid a contested divorce, you must also be willing to compromise and be prepared to give and take to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. It’s good to recognize that you may not get everything you want after the divorce.

  • Seek professional help

Divorce laws and processes can be intricate, and navigating them yourself can be overwhelming and emotionally draining. So, it is good to have someone knowledgeable by your side. A divorce attorney can offer legal advice, ensuring you understand your rights and obligations.

It doesn’t just have to be an attorney. You can also seek help from professionals such as a financial advisor for financial clarity and a therapist for emotional support. Because the process can be very stressful, a therapist can help both parties manage the stress and emotions.

  • Manage your emotions

So many emotions are often involved in a divorce, and if you are not careful, you might allow them to take control of the situation. That’s why you must manage them. How can you keep these emotions in check? Well, one is by staying calm. You must keep these emotions in check, especially during discussions and negotiations. Emotional outbursts can only detail productive talks.

Additionally, you must learn to separate emotions from decisions. Make decisions based on logic and fairness rather than anger or hurt feelings. Of course, this approach can significantly impact the process by creating a more equitable and sustainable outcome.

  • Consider alternative dispute resolution [ADR]

There are also other alternative dispute resolution [ADR] approaches you can opt for if mediation does not work. One such approach is arbitration. You can agree that a neutral arbitrator makes binding decisions on disputed issues, like child custody, property division, or spousal support. This can be faster and more confidential compared to court litigation. You can also opt for direct negotiation with your spouse, possibly with the help of your attorneys, to settle without court intervention.

Final thoughts

If you don’t want to make your divorce more emotionally and financially draining than necessary, it’s recommended that you avoid your divorce from becoming contested. However, avoiding a contested divorce requires a proactive and cooperative approach. By implementing the above mentioned strategies, you can work towards a mutually beneficial agreement. This can reduce divorce’s emotional and financial strain and set a foundation for a more positive post-relationship. This is especially important if children are involved.