Finalizing a divorce can be time-consuming, particularly if you and your spouse cannot agree on key issues like child support, custody, spousal support, and the distribution of marital property. If one or both spouses refuse to be flexible or be willing to negotiate about specific issues, settling can take years. However, if you can set aside your differences and negotiate a mutually agreeable divorce settlement, the process will likely be much less time-consuming, contentious, and expensive.
How Do I Negotiate the Terms of a Divorce With My Spouse?
You and your spouse must negotiate the divorce terms to agree on key divorce issues. While this can be challenging, there are strategies you can use to communicate with your spouse and negotiate the terms of the divorce, including the following:
- Understand the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce. A contested divorce involves issues that a judge must settle. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree to work together to resolve their issues outside the courtroom. Couples will come together and negotiate the terms of the divorce. In most cases, an uncontested divorce is much less time-consuming and expensive than traditional litigation.
- Seek an alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to settling a dispute outside the courtroom, which is often significantly less expensive and time-consuming than traditional litigation. The following are the most common types of ADR:
- Negotiation: This is often the leading method of dispute resolution in New Jersey. When couples can communicate effectively, they remain in control of the process and make decisions about issues like alimony, child support, custody, and the division of assets.
- Mediation: This involves using a qualified mediator who uses effective negotiating methods to help couples reach an amicable settlement outside the courtroom. If there are specific issues that you and your spouse are having trouble resolving, the mediator will listen to both of your arguments and recommend possible solutions. While the mediator will advise how to resolve conflicts, they do not make decisions for the couple.
- Collaborative divorce: This process encourages couples to work together to resolve their issues with as little conflict as possible. Ultimately, both spouses commit to working together cooperatively to reach the best possible outcome for all parties involved.
- Arbitration: This is similar to mediation and collaborative divorce in that the process occurs outside the courtroom. However, unlike mediation, the arbitrator acts as a judge and makes decisions for the couple. Once a decision has been made, both parties are bound by that decision.
- Avoid unnecessary battles. As difficult as it can be, it is in your best interest to set aside your differences, focus on resolving the main issues, and avoid unnecessary fighting.
What Steps Can I Take to Accelerate the Divorce Process?
In an ideal scenario, you and your spouse would have an amicable divorce and reach an agreement in months. Unfortunately, the process can take several years for couples going through a contentious divorce. However, there are steps you can take to speed up the process, including the following:
- Prepare for the divorce. Take the time to learn about the divorce laws, including a general understanding of the paperwork involved and how custody, spousal support, and asset division are resolved in your state.
- Figure out what you want out of the divorce. You should decide what you want in the divorce settlement, including the ideal custody arrangement, spousal support, and property division.
- Determine the best type of divorce for your situation. If you are trying to speed up the divorce process with your spouse, it may be in your best interest to pursue an uncontested divorce.
- Communicate and compromise. Communication can go a long way toward negotiating difficult decisions. It can also establish a more positive and productive way of communicating post-divorce.
- Attend all scheduled meetings. If you repeatedly cancel or reschedule mediation sessions or other essential appointments related to the divorce, it will only prolong the process.
- Be patient and have realistic expectations. The process will be much less stressful and overwhelming if you can be patient and flexible.
- Get help from family and friends. Having the support of friends and family will help you remain strong, focus on the issues at hand, and reach a mutually agreeable settlement as quickly as possible.
- Save up enough money. If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, it is essential that you start setting aside money.
- Consult with an experienced divorce lawyer. You should contact a skilled divorce lawyer if you want to accelerate the process and require legal assistance with negotiations.
Monmouth County Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Assist Clients With the Divorce Process
If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and want to settle as quickly as possible, contact our Monmouth County divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Somerville, Morristown, and Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients in Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, Morris Plains, and Monmouth County.