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How to divorce amicably while still protecting your rights

Many people want their divorce to be over as quickly and painlessly as possible. Divorce is emotionally and financially stressful. Not wanting to drag out the process is normal.

If parting ways without unnecessary conflict is a priority, there are ways to minimize the arguments, expense and duration of divorce. But this must be done carefully to avoid putting yourself at risk of future financial difficulties and conflict.

Below are three tips to consider when attempting to divorce amicably.

1. Address issues now before they become problems

An uncontested divorce makes sense for people who believe that they have already resolved all of the custody and financial aspects of divorce. This may include property division, child support, and parenting plans, among other issues.

Rarely are these matters easy. For example, you may agree to have some form of joint custody over children. But what happens if your parenting plan doesn't address vacation time and you want to go on vacation time with your children after the divorce is finalized? Or move with the children out-of-state? How will you handle requests from your ex-spouse to have more time with the children?

There are also financial considerations to keep in mind. Do you have a good idea of all of the assets and debts involved in the marriage? Are you aware of your financial position after the divorce is final?

While difficult, a frank discussion and appropriate legal advice in advance regarding these matters can go a long way toward preventing future disputes.

2. Consider a collaborative divorce

Collaborative divorce is an alternative to traditional contested divorce. During a collaborative divorce, the couple meets to work out the issues in divorce together, without the court's intervention. However, both parties to the divorce have an attorney who can advise them of their rights under the law and protect them while maintaining objectivity. During negotiation on difficult issues, the attorneys can provide assistance in a less intimidating environment.

3. Negotiate fairly but confidently

There are important issues to resolve in a divorce or custody issue. Just because you cannot agree on everything right away does not mean your divorce will spiral into a lengthy and conflict-ridden process. Negotiating for a fair division of assets, financial support and a plan for a parenting schedule is important and may take some discussion to resolve. Failing to address these issues because you want to move on from the divorce can ultimately cause more conflict and pain in the future.

If you have questions about collaborative divorce, speak to an experienced family law attorney familiar with collaborative divorce in New Hampshire.

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