You have taken the difficult step of discussing divorce with your spouse. Although you may both be ready to work through legalizing the divorce, you may be in completely different stages of processing and acceptance of the situation. This can lead to disagreements and a break down in communication and negotiations. This can be one of the most stressful scenarios for a couple— knowing that action must be taken for the divorce to move forward, but being left uncertain as to what those actions should be. Since divorce is 80% emotional, emotions affect every aspect of divorce negotiations. Think about it in terms of a bowl of spaghetti – the noodles represent items to be negotiated and the sauce represent all of the emotions flowing through everything, It can seem impossible to pull out one noodle without it affecting the others.
Before too much polarizing occurs between the two of you and animosity grows, it is better to take time to learn about your options. For example, one option is for decisions to be forced (which is sometimes necessary) through utilizing the court process; although no one can truly predict what the decisions will ultimately be and whether either party will be satisfied. Or, a third-party neutral (mediator) can be brought in, even before attorneys were hired, to help facilitate the conversations. Another option would be to hire a team of professionals to help all of the family members have some input into the decision-making process and focus on needs and interests of each member. This option can be far more cost effective than you think and can lead to a much deeper level of resolution for your entire family.
It is my opinion that once a couple falls into a court battle and a vicious cycle of win/lose, it can be almost impossible to get out or re-build any trust. This is what leads to all of those horrible divorce stories that we are all too familiar with. But I believe these situations could almost always be avoidable if only a different approach and different professionals were utilized at the very beginning of the divorce process. Thankfully, you now have options such as early-stage mediation, or the Collaborative Divorce Process.