How to Make Your Divorce Easier and Less Costly in Maine

How to Make Your Portland Maine Divorce Easier

Anyone who tells you that divorce is easy probably has no first-hand experience of one. Things can get messy and expensive as emotions take over, especially if a battle ensues and both spouses want to be seen to “win”.

This is, thankfully, the exception to the rule. Most divorces in Maine (or anywhere else) don’t go to trial and generally pass through the family law courts without the need for litigation.

Couples often work through the issues together because a long, expensive divorce that drags on in the courts for months is generally in nobody’s best interests — especially the children from a marriage.

It is certainly possible to negotiate a relatively swift, simple and reasonable settlement by following g a few guidelines from the outset if you and your spouse decide to divorce. Here are a few points to bear in mind.

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Be patient, truthful and respectful

Individuals’ demeanors during the divorce process can have a direct bearing on the outcomes. Acting vengeful and confrontational can stir up unwanted disputes with your spouse.

Couples that are patient, respectful and truthful with each other tend to get an easier and quicker divorce than those that are confrontational.

For instance, trying to hide financial information from your spouse may slow the divorce down, stir up bad feelings and complicate the settlement.

Also, divorces don’t happen in weeks — even quick ones take months. So, you’ll need to be patient. Think of this period as valuable time to sort out all the things you need to prepare for the future as you go your separate ways and consider all the options available to you.

Get organized with your paperwork

Divorces can become “messy” in more ways than one. Staying organized with your paperwork will help you keep a clear mind and focus on how best to resolve matters for your future.

You’ll need a lot of documentation when preparing for divorce and, with or without the aid of a family lawyer, you’ll need to fill in many forms.

Financial information is a priority in divorce settlements. Make sure that you can locate tax returns, income statements, details of assets you hold and inheritances that have come your way, plus any other relevant financial information. You and your family lawyer will need as much information as possible during the negotiation/mediation stages of the divorce.

It’s best to compile a list of assets, debts and monthly expenses so that when the issues of child support, spousal support and property division come up, you’re ready for discussion and negotiation.

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Know what you want — but be open to compromise

One of the keys to a quicker and easier divorce is knowing more or less what you want from the settlement — but remaining as flexible as possible about it.

Make a list of what you want — in order of importance. Decide what is negotiable and non-negotiable. Perhaps you’ll need to sacrifice something that’s not particularly important to you to get something you want. Knowing what these assets are is important.

Be thorough and seek to develop a full understanding of what you’re entitled to and what you can realistically get. Discussing this with your family lawyer should be a priority once you have gathered all the necessary information.

During discussions with your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer, a spirit of fairness and compromise from both sides is likely to yield quicker results and a less expensive divorce than hotly contesting matters.

Don’t point the finger or try to punish your ex

Especially in the early stages of the divorce process, you might hear friends and family advise you to dig your heels in and get what you can from your spouse. They may make suggestions based on their own experiences, apportioning blame that stirs up emotions and hardens your stance against your ex.

This may, ultimately, be counter-productive. Every divorce is different and it’s generally best not to believe everything you hear — even from those with your best interests at heart.

Pointing the finger is rarely helpful in a no-fault divorce and it’s best not to try to “punish’ your ex-spouse for any perceived blame for the relationship failing. If you and your spouse aim to avoid conflict and disputes over fault, you may be able to reach a quicker and easier settlement that enables you both to move on with your lives.

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Consider divorce mediation

Alternative dispute resolution methods such as negotiation, mediation and arbitration are generally better options for resolving divorce matters than litigation.

Mediation, in particular, can save time and money for divorcing couples. It’s also less stressful and more private than litigation — while decision-making powers also remain with the spouses rather than a judge. During mediation, couples meet with a trained, independent mediator, who attempts to facilitate a fair agreement on the outstanding issues.

Mediation can be highly beneficial if you are prepared to listen, negotiate and seek fair outcomes rather than be adversarial with each other. You’ll need to leave your emotions and feelings at the door for mediation to be successful — think of it more as a business deal than winning a battle with your ex. Couples may or may not choose to have a family lawyer present during mediation.  However, in the vast majority of cases, it’s best to have your family lawyer working with you during the mediation in order to ensure your best interests are being advanced.

Speak with a family lawyer to understand your options

Your family lawyer is likely to play an important role as a type of divorce “coach”, as well as helping to protect your rights, present your legal options and look after your best interests.

Even if you intend to manage negotiations or mediation with your spouse yourself, seeking advice from an experienced divorce attorney can help you set realistic expectations and achieve a better outcome.

People who neglect to take legal advice for their divorce often overlook certain legal options that could help them.

If you are preparing for a divorce in Maine, speak to an experienced family law attorney at The Maine Divorce Group during an initial consultation.

Call 207-230-6884 or contact us online to schedule a consult with one of our highly skilled family law attorneys today.

We serve many clients, just like you, across Maine in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, & Lincoln Counties.

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HOW CAN THE MAINE GROUP DIVORCE HELP?

Divorce is a highly emotional and stressful experience for most people. But you don’t have to face this challenge alone. Having a strong divorce attorney in your corner can help ensure that you and your children walk away from this process with the best opportunities available for future success and happiness.