A 'Happy' Divorce? 7 Ways to Make It Less Stressful
The truth is, very rarely does a perfectly happy couple get divorced. Divorce, while in many ways onerous, can be a legal way to cut the cord and ultimately invite more happiness into your life.
The Huffington Post recounts more than a dozen ways in which divorce might change a couple for the better, including lowering anxiety and increasing happiness for each spouse. But it all depends on how you approach the actual divorce process.
Check out these seven legal ways to have a "happy" divorce that might work for you:
- Be good parents. Divorce is an opportune time to decide whether you will use your children as pawns in a spiteful game of divorce-chess or whether you will work together with your soon-to-be ex to make good parenting decisions.
- Learn about collaborative divorce. Splitting up a marriage doesn't have to be an adversarial process, there's a whole field of law dedicated to collaborative divorce.
- Ask about mediation. Whether your attorney recommends it or not, ask about divorce mediation. It may end up saving you time in court, not to mention attorney's fees. And that should make both spouses happy.
- Have a prenuptial agreement. This may seem like the least romantic thing to mention to your betrothed, but a prenup can really make things run so much smoother. Prenups are becoming more modern too, so it may sweeten the deal to include social media restrictions in the premarital agreement.
- Consider a postnup. If you didn't get a prenup, a married couple can still enter into a postnup (postnuptial agreement) which can lay down financial boundaries between personal and marital assets or debts. Putting these issues to paper prior to a divorce can make your ultimate split a happier one.
- Communicate about tax planning. You and your spouse both want the maximum tax breaks available in the time during and after your divorce, but you need to communicate in order for this to go off without a hitch. Deciding which spouse gets to claim a child as a dependent is a good start.
- Negotiate a smart fee agreement with your divorce attorney. Divorce may necessitate an attorney, but don't simply sign a fee agreement without asking a few questions first. By calmly negotiating a rate or payment structure you think is fair, you're less likely to feel like your divorce is bleeding you dry.
For more divorce tips, check out FindLaw's free Guide to Getting a Divorce and our free Guide to Divorce and Property Division. To those seeking it, we wish you the happiest divorce possible.