Many divorced couples can tell about the horror story resulting from bitterness surrounding their divorce. However, states such as Massachusetts are attempting to ease the pain of going through a divorce by allowing alternatives to the traditional divorce fought in a courtroom. One such option is a negotiated divorce.
Experts point out that there are many benefits to a negotiated divorce. In order to obtain a divorce through this method, the two spouses must go through a settlement meeting. While a divorce can often be obtained more quickly and more privately through these types of negotiations, both sides must come to the meeting willing to make the process work.
Some experts offer tips on how to make this meeting go smoothly. First, as difficult as it may be, it is important to leave emotions out of the process. The purpose of the meeting is to determine how the couple will proceed in the future, instead of placing blame for past transgressions. Second, it is important to realize that compromise through the procedures will be necessary from both sides — neither side is likely to walk away getting everything they want. Finally, some experts discuss the importance of self-advocating — asking questions when something is not understood or following up with concerns regarding the long term impact of a decision.
While there are many positive benefits of a negotiated divorce, both parties must come to the table willing to make the process work. Massachusetts couples who do not want the stereotypical divorce that is a matter of public record can choose this option. An easier path to a divorce will allow former spouses quicker resolution as well as a quicker start to a new life.
Source: The Huffington Post, Divorce Confidential: How to Prepare for a Settlement Meeting, Caroline Choi, Oct. 31, 2013