If you asked 100 peopled who are getting divorced if they want to get it over quickly or have it go on for years, the majority of them would say…get it over quickly.
Big surprise, right?
Do I have to spell it out for you? If I do, then you haven’t been in a contested divorce.
If that’s true, good for you.
I don’t have to tell you that being involved in a contested divorce stinks. If you don’t have an attorney and are representing yourself, then it’s even worse. You probably feel overwhelmed, confused, angry and a bunch of other emotions.
If you have an attorney, then add to the list of negatives expensive. A contested divorce could cost you tens of thousands of dollars and take years to finalize.
That doesn’t sound like fun now does it?
I’ll be honest with you. There’s no secret pill, or piece of advice to get a quick divorce.
But, it is possible.
In order to get divorced quickly and cheaply, you must be able to do the following:
Have good communication with your spouse.
Communication is key. Now, maybe this was one of the problems that led to the demise of your marriage. If you want any shot at getting divorced quickly, you have to be able to communicate effectively about the divorce process with your soon-to-be-ex spouse. If you say the sky is blue and your spouse says it’s red, you’re probably in it for the long haul.
Be on the same page about getting divorced amicably.
If you’re not on the same page as your spouse, then you won’t be getting divorced quickly. A quick divorce means that you both agree and are trying to be amicable and resolve all the issues with communication and negotiation. If you can do this, you are on your way to a quick divorce.
Agree on the distribution of marital assets.
I have said this hundreds of times. A divorce is a business transaction. There are marital assets that have to be divided. The sooner you agree on who gets what, the quicker you can finalize the divorce. The more you fight, the longer and more expensive the divorce will be.
Agree on how you will handle disagreements during the process.
Odds are you will not agree on everything. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean you can’t get a quick divorce, but it does mean you have to both agree on how you are going to handle any disagreements. For example, will you go to mediation to handle all roadblocks? That’s a good solution, but it takes two for mediation to work. Going to court, or filing a motion to handle disagreements is an option, but that takes more time and now you’re having a third party (the judge) get involved. I say, keep the court out of your affairs as long as possible. But, that’s just me.
Have the ability to effectively co-parent your children.
If you have children, custody and parenting time issues are what can drag a divorce on for years and add upwards of $10,000 to your divorce bill. Seriously! Parents who can put their personal differences aside and learn to co-parent effectively with each other don’t have to get bogged down with expensive and time consuming custody evaluations and parenting time disputes. If you can agree on custody and a reasonable parenting schedule, you are on your way to a quick divorce.
The key to a quick divorce if you don’t have an attorney is to follow the above steps as much as possible.
Some people can do it, some can’t.
One piece of advice I often give clients is to instill in them the notion that just because the marriage didn’t work out doesn’t mean they can’t be friends, or great parents to their children. I know couples who, for whatever reason, had terrible marriages, but great post-divorce lives.
And, believe it or not, the children of these parents grow up just fine and are well adjusted and otherwise “normal.” They have great relationships with both parents! Sometimes I wonder to myself how the marriage failed if they get along so well being divorced.
Life is funny that way.
You can only control what you can control. A bad marriage doesn’t have to mean a miserable divorce and post-divorce life. However, it takes two parents who communicate well with each other and are on the same page and have the best interests of their children in mind that get divorced quickly and cheaply.
Hopefully, that can be you!
Be strong, act confident, stay positive!