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Managing the divorce process effectively: common characteristics

“All happy families resemble each other,” the celebrated Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy asserted in the first line of “Anna Karenina.” This often-quoted statement also includes a devastating second part: that “each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

The degree to which Tolstoy’s statement may or may not be true depends greatly on individual perspective and interpretation. But it can be applied in many different contexts, including divorce in South Florida in the 21st century.

In this post, let’s look at how in the divorce process, there are some basic characteristics that many well-managed divorces share

For one thing, it often helps when both members of the divorcing couple have the resources to make setting up a second household feasible without undue financial strain.

To be sure, not every person on the verge of divorce has a job. As we noted, however, in our January 15 post on stay-at-home parents, resolving property issues can become more difficult when one party has become extremely dependent financially on the other.

Indeed, frustrations with the dynamic of financial dependence are one of the key drivers of the strong interest in overhauling Florida’s alimony laws. We discussed that issue in our January 29 post and other recent posts.

Another common feature of many well-resolved divorces is that they do not become overly adversarial. Granted, there are times when mediation is not appropriate, such as when there are allegations of domestic violence.

Generally, though, there may be something to the old saying that “you catch more flies with honey.” Effective negotiation to resolve differences in a divorce does not necessarily require protracted litigation.

Though litigation may well be needed to bring the other party to the table, it should not become an end in itself.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Three Ways to Protect Yourself in a Divorce,” Margaret Klaw, Jan. 29, 2014