10 Rules for Civility in Divorce
Over the years, we have observed that the best divorce agreements tend to be those in which both parties and their attorneys conduct themselves with civility. In that spirit, we offer the following suggestions:
1. Accept your role in the problem.
2. Protect your health and relieve stress by getting regular exercise. Drink moderately, if at all.
3. Expect to compromise, rather than to "win" or "lose" the divorce.
4. What may seem fair to you may not seem fair to your spouse — or a Judge. Focus, instead, upon a solution which is workable to both of you.
5. Recognize that you will have good days and bad days. Save major decisions for the good days when you feel most objective and centered.
6. Get counseling from a professional – it is superior to advice from your barber, hair stylist, or best friend. (But keep in mind the therapist could be required to be a witness in court.)
7. Protect the possibility of amicable relations in the future. Avoid the temptation to "burn down the barn to get the mice."
8. Spend time with friends who listen (rather than give advice) and who see the whole picture. Avoid friends and family who support vengeance, or who fan the flames of animosity.
And for parents:
9. Accept that the "best interests" of the children can be defined in more than one way.
10. Act in a manner that preserves your child's relationship with their other parent. If you will share custody, carefully consider how to protect a reasonable co-parenting relationship in the future. Most parents want to give their children the best opportunity to reach their potential and live their dreams. Craft an agreement around your common interests and goals as parents.