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How to avoid a messy divorce

With a few exceptions, no one wants to go through a messy divorce. A contested divorce can last years and shred any good will a couple may have retained after their split. Author Alison Heller has laid out steps for an amicable divorce that may appeal to people in New York, New York.

Anger is like the uninvited guest that shows up at the divorce table and won't leave until it is satisfied. No one can avoid anger completely in a divorce proceeding, but it should be expressed and gotten out of people's systems before the final negotiations. Another important point to remember is the big picture. Instead of walking away because one thinks a better ruling awaits him in court, consider all the costs of doing so, such as attorney and court fees as well as less time to spend with the kids.

In a divorce, everybody has to bend. No one walks away with everything and no one feels like a winner. Accepting this from the get go can make for a smoother process. One of the biggest hindrances to keeping a level head and making necessary sacrifices is the peanut gallery. Friends and family often encourage spouses to fight for more, but they are not in the room to hear both sides. Their advice, although well-intentioned, should be ignored. This recommendation extends to one's attorney to a point. Finding an attorney who is on board with being fair and reasonable instead of fighting tooth and nail usually leads to a faster resolution.

Even when people approach divorce with a cooperative attitude and hope to get through the process quickly, once the reality of the situation sets in it is easy to become anxious, protective, and insecure. Following these steps may assist people attain a smooth divorce, but an experienced lawyer is also necessary for a successful and fair divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, "5 Steps to a Clean Divorce", Alison Heller, May 31, 2013

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