An uncontested divorce is one where all parties have agreed to the terms and issues of the divorce, including property division, visitation, custody, alimony and child support. As such, there isn’t anything for the court to intervene upon, except if the children’s best interests are at stake. Basically, having resolved all issues, the couple is just requesting the court to review and approve the agreement and then end the marriage legally.
While uncontested divorce in Oklahoma is infinitely simpler when there are no children involved, it is possible to have an uncontested divorce even if you have children. All that must happen is that you must work out and develop a parenting plan that is agreeable with both parties.
In most cases, couples that can still communicate with each other end up having a more satisfactory agreement than couples that are hostile. This is when the court must step in to decide what is in the best interest of the child. This results in lengthy, emotionally draining and costly proceedings since lawyers have to be hired for court appearances.
This article highlights a few communication tips for dealing with your spouse in order to reduce tension and hasten agreement when developing your parenting plan. Read on to learn more.
- Avoid verbal attacks
It is expected that divorce causes emotions to run high as past wrongs are remembered. However, avoid making verbal attacks on your spouse, and especially going off-track during the negotiations. Verbal attacks result in a communication breakdown which will delay or prevent you from reaching an agreement.
- Think of the bigger picture
While you may be hurt by the actions of your spouse, bear in mind that there’s a bigger picture you should focus on during communication. Think about where you want your family to be a year and even five from the point of divorce. The goal of amicable conflict resolution is to reduce the emotional drain on the innocent parties: your children and also yourselves.
- Ask for what you want
Be prepared by knowing what terms are acceptable to you and what you can compromise on. You should be civil when asking for what you want and have logical reasons to defend your wants. Don’t wait for your spouse to offer you what you think you deserve. Be willing to compromise, but keeping in mind your bottom-line.
- Never make assumptions
No matter how well you think you know your spouse, don’t try to read into what they’re saying as you can get unnecessarily riled, and this will hurt your communication. Instead, both parties should communicate using clear and concise language and gently ask for clarifications where issues have not been well presented.
- Have some empathy
In negotiating and even deciding your bottom lines, make an effort to look objectively at what your spouse needs from you. Put aside any anger or frustration and think about the position they’re in regarding various aspects. You can sound it out with someone else, such as a close friend, who can look at things outside of the veil of emotional turmoil that you’re in. Listen to your spouse and think about whether they are making reasonable requests, if the shoe were on the other foot.
Even if you’re not able to work out a parenting plan, court action doesn’t have to be your automatic nextstep. You can look into mediation where a non-biased party can help you sift through both sides of the arguments and help you work out compromises. In the end, what you both want is to preserve your child(ren)’s best interests. Let that be foremost in your mind. Never use the children to try and get back at your spouse.