While it is true that in many cases of divorce, the couple decides, together, that dissolving the marriage is the best course of action, many cases are not so easily resolved. In fact, contested divorce cases are commonly portrayed in the media, especially among couples with complex assets, children, business interest, or multiple properties. In the real world of divorce, the fact is that in many cases, one spouse wants to divorce the other, regardless of the other spouse’s feelings or wishes. When this happens, the divorce becomes contested and emotional, and often results in a courtroom battle for resolution.
How to Avoid Courtroom Drama
Even unhappy couples can avoid a lengthy and expensive courtroom battle by following some simple guidelines provided by expert divorce mediators. As such, divorce experts recommend the following to ease the strain of a contested divorce:
Get Help – At the first sign of a contentious battle brewing, divorcing couples should consider seeking the professional guidance of a counselor, divorce coach, or mediator. These individuals are trained to be objective, supportive parties to the divorce process, and can provide a safe, constructive approach to resolving conflict.
Show Compassion – Compassion is not one of the most common terms used in the same sentence as divorce. Even so, experts recommend showing compassion as one way to ease the strain of divorce. Even if the spouses cannot agree on an issue, it is important that they each attempt to show compassion and understanding for the feelings and desires of the other.
Communicate – Communication is one of the most important keys to a successful divorce. Both spouses should make an earnest attempt to be forthcoming, honest, and respectful during the process of divorce. Defensiveness, anger, and bitterness will only widen the gap between the spouses, which often results in additional conflict.
Take Time – Just like planning a wedding takes time often, so does divorce as well. If one spouse does not want to divorce, it may be helpful for the couple to take some time to consider the situation and determine the best way to proceed. In many cases, it just takes a bit of time for both parties to come to an understanding of the feelings and desires of the other.
Find all Options – A heated, contentious battle does not have to be the answer when one spouse wants divorce and the other does not. For many couples, options like divorce mediation or an uncontested divorce provide non-contentious options for dissolving the marriage, which does not require appearing before a judge. The best way to determine what options are available is to speak with an experienced family law attorney who is familiar with West Virginia’s divorce laws and guidelines.