How to Achieve an Amicable Divorce by Stephanie Willison
According to the online version of the Cambridge English Dictionary, amicable means “friendly and without unpleasant arguments, or (of decisions and agreements) reached with friendly attitudes.”
When a divorce is amicable, there is no litigation involved.
Litigation occurs when spouses disagree on the result and cannot come to an agreement. Depending on the divorce issues, the litigation may involve some or all of them. Arizona divorce trials can be the result of litigation.
An amicable divorce involves the parties and their divorce lawyers negotiating in good faith and finalizing a settlement. Once a settlement is reached, it typically becomes a formal agreement. Most people assume that divorce must either be amicable or contested. This is not true.
An amicable divorce in Arizona does not require a court appearance. You can complete an amicable divorce by signing and filing a Marital Settlement Agreement and Consent Decree. Finding the right divorce attorney in Prescott, AZ, can help you achieve this.
The Benefits of an Amicable Divorce
An amicable divorce has many benefits. Couples who communicate and cooperate throughout the entire process model good behavior for their children. A positive atmosphere for the children is created when parents work well together during the divorce proceedings. Should they ever find themselves in a similar situation in the future, this will be helpful to them. Children learn by watching their parents.
Uncontested divorces often resolve faster than contested divorces. The traditional divorce process can take months or even years, causing the couple emotional stress and uncertainty. Uncontested divorces, on the other hand, emphasize cooperation and compromise, allowing spouses to reach an agreement quickly.
When couples work together instead of fighting in court, they can protect their mental and emotional health while reducing the impact on their children. A couple can establish shared aims and interests and create an agreement that works for both of them by communicating openly and finding common ground. Besides reducing friction during divorce proceedings, this collaborative approach also establishes a favorable tone for future contacts, particularly when co-parenting or maintaining a civil relationship after divorce.
Among the biggest benefits of an uncontested divorce is financial stress reduction. Your divorce will likely be considered “amicable” if you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all issues. In this case, you can anticipate paying between $2,500 and $3,500 in attorney fees.
Uncontested divorces allow spouses to focus on more important issues, such as financial stability and emotional recovery after divorce. By settling their issues outside of court and without protracted negotiations, discovery, or trial preparation, couples can save money on legal bills. As an added benefit, uncontested divorces save time and money by simplifying paperwork, court appearances, and other legal procedures. Hiring a family law attorney in Prescott will guide you in ways that make it a much smoother process.
Understanding Arizona Divorce Law
There are several advantages to having a divorce attorney in Prescott, AZ, represent you during an amicable divorce: attorneys can help you review the paperwork before filing it with the court, protect your interests in the event of a breakdown in negotiations, and ensure that any agreement is fair and equitable.
In case you or your spouse own real estate or a business, it’s important to consider how it will be divided during the divorce. Before finalizing the divorce, you must have a written settlement agreement in place that covers all the important details. Doing this will ensure everything runs smoothly and there are no surprises down the road.
You can ensure that all of your bases are covered by working with a family law attorney in Prescott, AZ, who can help you create a checklist. The document should include all important agreements between you and your spouse, including bank accounts, pension funds, and property agreements.
In a divorce, alimony is usually a contentious issue. The majority of spouses are strongly opposed to paying their spouse any alimony. Resolving a divorce becomes more complex and challenging because of this. However, an experienced divorce lawyer in Prescott can provide you with an estimate of how much and how long alimony will be awarded by a judge.
When both parties agree on the terms of their separation, child custody and property division are not in dispute. You will likely need the assistance of a divorce lawyer in Prescott if you and your spouse have minor children together or if you have significant assets to divide. Generally, more planning and negotiation will be required to make sure all details are covered.
In some cases, hiring an attorney before starting the divorce process can speed things up. Before filing anything with the court, a family law attorney in Prescott, AZ, will review your paperwork and make sure everything is in order. Having a lawyer involved can ensure that complex decisions are made fairly and amicably, such as dividing retirement and investment accounts.
Effective Communication for an Amicable Divorce
An amicable divorce requires effective communication. A divorce process that lacks good communication can be unnecessarily protracted and may ultimately require court intervention.
Even though good communication might seem ideal, most divorcing couples find that their interactions are frustrating, emotionally draining, and unproductive. Communication can be improved even during a divorce. Follow these tips for keeping your divorce on track for a favorable and speedy conclusion.
- Be careful not to say anything that you wouldn’t want a judge to hear.
During your divorce, everything you say could be used against you. Therefore, you should assume that every encounter with your spouse is being documented. Name-calling, insults, and shouting will not impress a judge. An angry voicemail about your spouse’s inability to pick up the kids also demonstrates your lack of impulse control and civility to a judge. Make sure you don’t give your spouse any ammunition.
- Communicate in a clear and concise manner.
When a couple divorces, they establish new communication boundaries. Before your divorce, you may have texted or called your spouse at work, even for trivial matters. This behavior is now likely to irritate him or her. You can keep tempers even and your divorce on track by establishing clear guidelines for communicating during and after your divorce.The best way to avoid heated conversations is to schedule face-to-face meetings in advance. A face-to-face meeting can help prevent emotional outbursts. In addition, scheduling a specific time for lengthy discussions allows you to find a public or neutral area and keeps the children from overhearing. Moreover, it gives you time to prepare a checklist of important topics.
- Communicate With Care
Maintain a civil tone in your communications. The use of sarcasm, insults, and shouting will inflame your spouse and prevent you from reaching a swift and amicable resolution. When you encounter uncivil behavior, ignore it or end the conversation. Your Prescott divorce attorney can help you evaluate your options if your spouse cannot communicate civilly.
- Timing Is Important
Most divorced couples want to limit the number of contacts they have with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. A weekly divorce meeting can be set up if your spouse is agreeable. In addition, remember that you don’t have to respond to every email, phone call, or text message sent by your spouse immediately. Respond calmly and thoughtfully after you have taken some time to think and relax.
- Keep your focus on the current issue.
When you focus on the present issues, you can avoid unnecessary and heated discussions about past behavior. Couples with good intentions often get sidetracked by dwelling on the past instead of focusing on the narrow issue they are trying to resolve. You can resolve your case more quickly by staying focused on the present.
- Don’t assume anything.
Most spouses have finished each other’s sentences at some point in their marriage. Because of our familiarity and intimacy in a marriage, we often make assumptions about what our spouse is thinking and feeling. Be conscious of any assumptions you make during your divorce. If something seems ambiguous or vague, ask your spouse to clarify it. If your spouse agrees to pick up your son after school, don’t assume that means 4 p.m.
- Don’t engage in inappropriate or unproductive conversations.
You don’t have to feel exhausted and depleted after every encounter with your spouse. You should end the conversation if you are covering the same ground or your spouse is shouting. Here are a couple of ways to end the conversation:
– The discussion is getting too emotional. When both of us are calm, we can talk again.
– On this issue, we are still unable to find any common ground. We should take a break.
- Embrace the fact that your spouse might not be ready or able to communicate with you
Your spouse may not be ready or able to engage in good communication for a variety of reasons. It may be difficult to break years of poor communication after a divorce, especially under duress. The spouse who is still grieving the end of the marriage is often not ready for divorce. A grieving person may show uncharacteristic hostility or fail to communicate at all. Implementing these tips can only help you in the long run, regardless of what is preventing you and your spouse from communicating effectively.
- Get Legal Advice on Divorce
Before making any agreements with your spouse during a divorce, you should consult a professional in family law in Prescott, AZ. For example, if you agree to an additional overnight visit each month, it can have unintended consequences on child support. For this reason, it is best to seek legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. There may be certain topics that your attorney advises you not to discuss.Don’t agree to anything if you’re unsure. You can minimize the negative perception by stating that you are willing to engage in constructive discussions about issues in your case but won’t agree to anything until you have discussed it with your divorce lawyer in Prescott. Communicating sincerely and civilly should keep the lines of communication open.
A lawyer with experience in traditional litigation and collaborative law is recommended if you are interested in collaborative law or divorce. A collaborative attorney can advise you on which process is right for you based on their knowledge of traditional practice as well as collaborative law. As you navigate what can be a very confusing divorce process, your collaborative divorce lawyer will play an important role.
Additionally, you should ask several other questions when choosing a collaborative law lawyer.
- Find out if the collaborative lawyer is a member of local and international collaborative law associations and if he or she has been fully trained in collaborative law. In order to join these groups, members must be fully trained in collaborative law practice.
- Ask your collaborative attorney if they attend continuing legal education courses on collaborative law. As this is a new and rapidly developing area of law, hiring a collaborative attorney who has undergone full collaborative training is important. A collaborative law practice differs significantly from traditional litigation because it involves specialized training, interest-based negotiation, mediation, and other skills not typically associated with traditional litigation.
Divorce does not need to be a war, as you can see. And there is no need for it to be financially and emotionally draining. By pursuing an amicable divorce, you and your spouse can receive the outcome you want and help protect your children from unnecessary trauma. Hiring a family law attorney in Prescott, AZ can resolve a divorce through truthful disclosures, cooperation, and reasonable compromises.
This article was originally posted by Stephanie Willison, Arizona, Member of Amicable Divorce Network.
She can be reached at (928) 445-3534 or at Willisonlawpc.com