Couples are sometimes in the predicament of both wanting a faster and easier divorce process than litigation, but not knowing how to get past the issues that are preventing them from filing an uncontested divorce. Here are some ways to get to a settlement:
Hire a Mediator
Mediation is a process to help couples work together to solve the issues in their case. It is typically considerably less expensive than litigation (even if a case has already been filed) simply because less time is involved overall. In a litigated case, each party is paying their attorney to draft documents, negotiate, collect written and testimonial evidence, and perform other tasks necessary to prepare the case for a judge to decide all of the issues. This can mean subpoenas, depositions, written discovery — all formalities of the legal system involved with trial evidence.
Mediation on the other hand, involves far less attorney time which reduces the costs substantially. If the case is not yet filed, the parties can pay a single mediator to help them reach an agreement. This usually happens over 1-4 sessions. If an agreement is reached, an attorney can be hired to codify the agreement and file it with the court as an uncontested case. Visit http://stlouisfamilymediation.com for more information about how a family mediator can help.
Try Divorce Counseling
Most people think of counseling as being only for couples trying to stay together or individuals after the divorce is over. However, there are many counselors who work with couples throughout the process from pre-divorce through dissolution, co-parenting and beyond. Sometimes the underlying emotional issues prevent spouses from being able to think clearly and rationally about moving forward. Angry spouses often cannot settle the case yet. A counselor may help you find a path towards a more peaceful solution.
Work on Your Communication Skills
It may seem like the time to up your couples communication game was during the marriage and not at the end of it, but it might just be what you need to get the job done. Frequently squabbling spouses talk right past each other and can’t really hear one another, even when they agree. When you are engaged in discussions with your spouse about the divorce, try slowing down. Too often “listening” really means just waiting for your turn to talk, which is unproductive. Great negotiators listen more than they talk and acknowledge the other side’s position and perspective. Listening is at the heart of winning communication. Try reading Getting to Yes or Never Split the Difference.