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Divorce is never a walk in the park, but sometimes a divorce that begins civilly enough will morph into something contentious and ugly. When a divorce becomes contentious, it makes the entire process more expensive, more time consuming, and more emotionally exhausting. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help keep your divorce moving in the right direction – toward a resolution that works for everyone involved. If you’re divorcing, consult with an experienced Houston divorce lawyer today.

Don’t Rush into Anything

Running to a divorce attorney in the heat of the moment isn’t a great way to begin the divorce process. Neither is panicking at the first mention of divorce. If you are considering divorce or your spouse has asked you for a divorce, it’s important to move forward with purpose:

  • Communicate as openly as possible with your spouse about any potential there may be to save your marriage
  • Seek marriage counseling  
  • Consider individual counseling to help you organize your thoughts

If you’ve exhausted all of your options and divorce is an inevitability, it’s time to find a skilled divorce attorney with whom you feel comfortable working. 

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goals

Divorce is overwhelming, and you’re going to have some difficult times ahead. This does not, however, mean that you should lose sight of your overall goals. If you have children, your priority is naturally their continued well-being and happiness. Divorce is often hardest on the children involved, and you’re going to want to keep your divorce as civil as possible for them – if for no other reason. The stress of a relatively amicable divorce is hard enough on children; a contentious divorce can be unbearable.

The fact is that there are plenty of good reasons to keep things civil throughout the divorce process:

  • A divorce that proceeds in a civil manner won’t consume your life in the same way that a contentious divorce will.
  • A non-contentious divorce typically takes less time to finalize and will be less expensive in the long run. 
  • A divorce that remains civil is less likely to cloud your good judgment regarding important decisions that you need to address throughout the divorce process.

Once your divorce heads into contentious territory, it’s very difficult to turn it around. If you can keep things civil from the outset, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor.

Identify Your Priorities

If you clearly define your divorce priorities, you’ll be better prepared to proceed reasonably. When emotions guide your decisions, it’s easy to lose sight of your priorities. If your foremost concern, for example, is being your children’s custodial parent, let that guide you. If you are able to compromise in other areas, it may help you accomplish your primary goals. In other words, clearly identifying your priorities will help you remain consistent, will bolster your credibility, and will help you safeguard your priorities. 

Don’t Speak through Your Attorney

While your skilled divorce attorney will work closely with you throughout the process, this does not mean you have to communicate with your divorcing spouse solely through your attorney. In fact, using your divorce attorney to communicate with your spouse is an extremely expensive, inconvenient, and clumsy process. Whatever you and your soon-to-be ex can work out between yourselves is work well done. If you can reach an agreement on any of the issues pertinent to your divorce, you’ll be ahead of the game. The more effectively you communicate with your spouse during this process, the more satisfied both of you are likely to be with the results.

Don’t Forget that You Both Need the Other’s Cooperation

The vast majority of divorces are settled before they go to court. The reason for this is that, once a divorce goes before a judge, the couple is no longer in charge of making the necessary relevant decisions. Such decisions include topics of immense magnitude, including child custody arrangements and the division of marital property. The fact is that the judge has considerable discretion when it comes to determining these issues, and the inherent uncertainty is enough to discourage most divorcing couples from going in this direction. 

This means that cooperation is key. The one universal truth about divorce is that you’re going to have to make compromises. If you demonstrate that you’re ready to cooperate, you’re that much more likely to hammer out a divorce settlement that you can live with. Remember, too, that small kindnesses on your part can be powerful tools that help deescalate tensions and soothe frazzled nerves.

Don’t Forget that There Are Viable Alternatives to Court

No matter how civilly you and your spouse have approached your divorce, you are probably still going to have unresolved issues to contend with. That’s to be expected. This does not, however, mean that you’re necessarily headed to court. You have other options, including mediation. 

At mediation, a neutral third-party presides over an organized process in which you and your spouse – with the support of your respective divorce lawyers – attempt to come to a consensus on those issues that remain open. There are many benefits to mediation, including:

  • Mediation is far less formal than court, and everyone tends to be more at ease.
  • You are allowed to speak for yourself – in support of your goals – throughout the mediation process. As such, you’ll take an active role in the final results. At this point, the decision-making powers remain with you and your spouse.
  • Mediation allows you the opportunity to see an overall snapshot of your divorce through the lens of a neutral party, which can help you gain perspective. 
  • You are not legally bound to reach an agreement in mediation.
  • The results of mediation are legally binding only if both of you sign off on them.  

If You Have Divorce Concerns, Consult with an Experienced Houston Divorce Attorney Today

If you’re facing a divorce, the dedicated divorce attorneys at Rudisel Law Firm, P.C., in Houston, are here to help. Our experienced legal team has the knowledge and commitment to skillfully advocate for a resolution that specifically addresses your priorities and goals. For a free consultation, please contact or call us at 713-781-7775 today.