In a domestic dispute, negative emotions such as hostility, anger, and revenge can needlessly delay a resolution and increase the cost. Perspective and objectivity, on the other hand, can promote a conclusion, and reduce the cost.
Many factors may be involved in the breakup of your marriage. You may feel indignation, anger, and resentment toward your spouse. You may want to punish your spouse by making the process difficult and time-consuming. This type of thinking usually results in a “no-win” situation for everyone concerned. If both spouses maintain perspective and a realistic idea of a reasonable and equitable outcome, less money will be spent in legal fees. In an equitable distribution case, this results in more money distributed to the parties.
One of the key factors in settling a divorce is both parties’ desire and ability to set aside differences and past hurts. Attorneys often hear, “It’s a matter of principle. I won’t compromise on this.” There have been cases in which a fair and equitable resolution was reached, but both parties were at an impasse regarding some minor issue such as the distribution of an inexpensive item of marital property. As a result, they spent thousands of additional dollars in legal fees on who would get the lava lamp!
The ability of the parties to control their emotions and keep matters in proper perspective is especially important in cases involving minor children. Much has been written about the effect of divorce on children. It is all too true that the children are the true victims of divorce. It is also true that parents involved in divorce too frequently use the children as the “battlefield.” Why? Because nothing is more dear to us than our children, and nothing can get to us quicker than matters involving our children. You and your spouse both love your children, and each of you wants what you believe is best for them. Although, you may have differences as what is best for your children. The children love each of you, and they are upset, frightened, and possibly angry by the breakup of your marriage. Children frequently blame themselves for the breakup of their parents’ marriage. Don’t add to your child’s pain by using him/her to punish your spouse. Accept the fact that your spouse has rights as a parent. Accept that, aside from cases of serious abuse, it is always best for the children for them to maintain frequent regular contact with both parents. If necessary, provide counseling for your children to help them deal with the effects of the divorce.