As Philadelphia divorce attorneys, the one question we hear more than any other is, “when’s this divorce going to be over with?”
The process isn’t pleasant. We understand how badly you want to get on with your life. And, in fact, wanting a shorter divorce is smart.
And while there’s no predicting how long a divorce will take, there are some steps you can take to ensure it goes a little faster and smoother.
Decide what’s really important to you.
Many divorces drag on because feelings overwhelm logic. Former couples find themselves fighting over every little thing just because they’re angry. The fights have little to do with anything they actually want, or anything which might benefit them.
Don’t be one of those people who fights over a frying pan. Come armed with thoughts on how to deal with the major issues of the divorce, and be willing to let everything else go.
The discovery process can be one of the longest processes in the divorce. Don’t rely on your ex to cough up documents we need to figure out if he or she is hiding assets. Gather all that information before you file for divorce, and have it on hand to share with your attorneys.
Hiding assets is so common Forbes routinely runs articles about it. Don’t assume your ex would never do that. If you had that much trust in him or her, you probably wouldn’t be divorcing in the first place.
See also: How to Lower the Cost of Your Divorce.
Be willing to accept a reasonable settlement.
To do this you need to know what might be reasonable in the first place. And while it’s not smart to settle too early in a divorce (it could be a sign your ex is hiding something), neither is it smart to force a case to go to trial when the settlement is already close to something we’d expect to see from a judge.
Of course, it’s very difficult to just eyeball a divorce settlement to see if it’s really fair, especially if the divorce is complex. Have a long conversation with your attorney and make sure you get any questions answered before you sign on the dotted line.
Strive to stay civil.
Your ex may choose to be unpleasant, but you don’t have to. All you can achieve by getting nasty is a spouse who is even more interested in punishing you by fighting and dragging out the process.
It’s hard. But lashing out won’t help. This is one reason why we recommend hiring a therapist during the divorce process so you can handle your emotions. Keeping a clear head will help you make better decisions, too.
Recognize some factors will be outside your control.
Sometimes spouses delay divorces on purpose, hoping to pressure you into a bad settlement. If you’re dealing with an abuser or a narcissist, bringing a divorce to a swift and clean conclusion may be impossible no matter how you behave.
And some divorces really are just so complex it’s impossible to deal with them quickly.
Just remember, a long divorce can be made even longer by failing to follow these tips.