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5 missteps that can derail a peaceful divorce

Divorce can be a painful enough process without the complications that litigation can present. As such, many people pursue more peaceful dispute resolution methods like mediation.

However, there are some missteps people make that can derail the mediation process. These mistakes are generally avoidable, especially if you know what they are from the beginning.

  1. Releasing your anger on social media - Venting frustration about a divorce or your ex online can seem cathartic. However, if a peaceful split is your goal, you must be careful what you say online. Negative things about your ex could easily get back to him or her, creating conflict. Further, saying something online that does not align with your statements in mediation can create distrust and allegations of lying.
  2. Refusing to compromise - Compromise is a critical part of mediation. If you are not willing to compromise, cooperative efforts to reach agreements can fail. If there is one issue you are particularly passionate about, be prepared to give in other areas.
  3. Letting your loved ones speak for you - Family and friends want to show their support, but sometimes their good intentions create problems. To avoid this, talk to them about your hopes to keep the divorce civil. Ask them to respect this. You can also direct them to stop communicating with your ex during the process to prevent upsetting exchanges.
  4. Losing sight of the bigger picture - When there are so many details to resolve, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the little things. If you feel like you are fighting battles that you do not ultimately care about or you are unable to make clear decisions, take some time to refocus. Think about your goals and what will matter to you in the long term before returning to the discussion.
  5. Acting without legal guidance - In an effort to keep things civil, some parties choose not to work with lawyers. However, not having help from a lawyer can leave you open to more confusion, costly missteps as you navigate the legal system and potentially unfair settlements. Having legal guidance does not mean parties intend to be combative; rather, it can be an assurance that the results will be lawful, and the process can run more smoothly.

If you are committed to a peaceful, cooperative divorce, you can make that outcome more likely if you avoid these mistakes.

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