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What can I do to reduce conflict during my divorce?

How do couples achieve an amicable divorce? This might be a common question that individuals have if they decide to seek a divorce. The stress and tense emotions of this decision can make a low-conflict divorce feel out of reach, or even escalate the risk of arguments between two spouses.

There is no set formula for obtaining an amicable divorce, but there are steps that spouses can take to reduce the risk of serious conflict and end their marriage respectfully.

Three steps to help reduce conflict during a divorce

Whether North Carolina couples wish to reduce conflict for their children’s sake, or simply to minimize their own stress, many spouses might strive to avoid serious disputes. It can help if spouses:

  1. Take time to prepare: In North Carolina, spouses must be legally separated for one year and one day before they can file for a divorce. Individuals should take advantage of this time apart from their spouse to work through their emotions after the initial decision and understand the situation they face. They should consider what the future may bring, instead of focusing on the past.
  2. Approach divorce through mediation: Divorce mediation is a private process, outside of court. Usually facilitated by a neutral third party, it primarily focuses on discussion, negotiation and conflict resolution. This process may not necessarily avoid conflict, but it allows individuals to approach any conflicts productively and effectively.
  3. Coordinate and compromise: A divorce is not a one-time event. It is a process. And the issues addressed and agreed to during this process can affect one’s future and family long after they finalize their divorce. Therefore, even though it is a process of ending a marriage, spouses can reduce the chance of conflict if they are both willing to compromise to some extent.

It is important to note that avoiding conflict rarely helps anyone. Spouses should address conflict, but they can find ways to reduce the effects such conflict has on them and their negotiations. That way, they can also prevent issues from escalating into larger disputes.