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Woodbury Family Law Blog

Alternative dispute resolution may make divorce easier

When two people in Minnesota decide to get divorced, they may be worried about how they will handle issues like alimony and property division. If they have young children, child support and child custody may also be of concern. However, it is possible for people who are going through divorce to resolve these and other family law issues without having to go through the costly and time-consuming litigation process.

An increasing number of divorcing couples are opting for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes, such as arbitration and mediation, rather than going to trial. Why? Because an ADR process offers a far more customized way of ending a marriage. This approach is also faster and more flexible than litigation.

Managing a divorce does not have to be complicated

When people choose to end their marriage, they may feel relief about gaining control of their futures. At the same time, they may feel overwhelmed, as divorce can be time-consuming and complicated. Fortunately, a couple of steps may help to make the divorce process easier to manage in Minnesota.

For starters, it makes sense to be practical when attempting to reach a divorce settlement with the other party. Unfortunately, in many situations, the spouses see each other as competition and look to litigate every aspect of the divorce, ranging from asset distribution to spousal maintenance. This can be costly both loss of time and added costs, in addition to causing unnecessary stress for all parties involved. On the other hand, being cooperative and willing to find common ground can often lead to a more positive divorce experience.

Divorce prep process includes investigating financial situation

Dealing with the breakup of a marriage in Minnesota can be overwhelming on many levels. For instance, along with worrying about how the divorce will impact the family, an individual might be concerned about how it will affect his or her finances. Fortunately, when it comes to the financial aspect of divorce, being prepared can go a long way in helping to mitigate the negative impacts of a divorce.

An important part of the divorce preparation process is finding out the state of the household's financial affairs. Information can be obtained from statements related to investments, retirement savings, bank account savings and credit card payments. With the help of this information along with regular bill statements, a divorcing spouse can write down all of his or her current assets and liabilities, then spell out the assets and liabilities he or she expects to have in the future.

Emotional challenges a main driver of divorce

A wide range of issues can lead to the dissolution of marriage in Minnesota, ranging from financial disagreements to infidelity. However, according to research, lacking emotional fulfillment remains a top reason for divorce. In fact, it appears that violence- and addiction-related divorce motives have declined with time, whereas psychological and emotional divorce motives have surged.

Based on the recent research, one of the top reasons people get divorced is lacking intimacy or love. For instance, they may lose feelings for each other and feel that they have fallen out of love. Another common problem cited in the research is a communication issue. Failure to communicate in a marriage can unfortunately lead to distress between the two parties over time.

Three ways that divorcing later in life can be harder

A gray divorce is commonly understood to be a divorce after age 50. The trend towards gray divorce is becoming increasingly popular. The rate of divorce for people over 50 in the U.S. has doubled since 1990.

While divorcing can be difficult at any age, a gray divorce can have serious implications on your emotional and financial wellbeing. This type of divorce is also likely to impact your standard of living.

Certain steps may help with reducing conflict during divorce

Ending a marriage in Minnesota can pose a number of challenges for those involved. Divorce can be an emotional roller-coaster ride, on top of being a confusing process to navigate. It is not uncommon to experience high levels of conflict when addressing issues like asset distribution and alimony. However, it's possible to make a divorce as stress-free as possible by following a couple of important suggestions.

First, when dividing marital property it helps to prioritize certain items over others. For example, instead of focusing energy on a kitchen appliance, it may be better to concentrate on larger assets that carry more value, such as the family home. Fighting over relatively minor items of little dollar value will only cause more conflict and often makes the divorce process harder than it has to be.

Children need special attention during child custody talks

During a marital breakup in Minnesota, it is common for parents to zero in on their own issues, including their battles with one another. As a result, they may not give their children the attention they need, which can make the divorce process that much more challenging for them. However, some tips may help parents to simplify the divorce and child custody situation for their children starting from day one.

At the beginning of the divorce proceeding, it is wise for the parents to speak with their child about why they are getting divorced. It is not necessary to divulge too many details about their marital issues. Rather, the parents may simply want to express that they have fallen out of love with each other but will still love the children. In addition, they may want to address any concerns the child has early on, like whether he or she will have to transfer to a brand-new school.

Summer may be a good time to plan for divorce

The busy summer season can unfortunately add stress to a marriage in Minnesota. For this reason, it is not uncommon for dissatisfied couples to begin exploring the possibility of divorce. Here are a couple of tips for navigating the beginning of a divorce proceeding during the summer months.

First, it is wise for people who are contemplating divorce to take stock of how many financial accounts and credit cards they have. In addition, they should determine what to do with their home and other valuable possessions. It is critical that they begin collecting information about their assets, as this information will prove helpful during the asset distribution process in the divorce proceeding.

Does your divorce need to be a bitter courtroom battle?

People get divorced because they can no longer live together. But if you and your spouse have children, you’ll most likely be stuck with each other even after the divorce. Adding a nasty courtroom battle to your list of conflicts isn’t always a great idea.

In Minnesota, the courts most often ask parents to resolve their custody concerns in mediation—or some other form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR)—before taking them to trial. Settling matters in ADR can help reduce future conflicts and set you on the path toward a better future. However, to make the most of ADR, you want to understand its advantages and how to approach the process effectively.

Contact us To find out why our family law approach is right for you.

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