Dealing with conflict is really at the heart of any and all divorce proceedings. Learning what it is, what’s at its source and what you can do to manage it is crucial to coming to an end result that all parties are satisfied with.
Today, we’re going to talk about the key features of conflict resolution and some of the things that you can do to make resolving conflict in your divorce easier. Let’s jump right in!
The key to any kind of mutual understanding is listening. We live in a country where we emphasize creating a voice for ourselves and as such, listening sometimes falls by the wayside. Until we’re able to understand acutely where others are coming from, it becomes difficult to define a roadmap to a successful separation.
Ask yourself – do you really understand what your ex is saying? Is there anything you can agree on? Do you really want to help find a resolution to those issues? This keeps you thinking about their responses and less about your feelings about them.
Agree on what you disagree on
Even in the most difficult divorces, this is something that can be easily accomplished for both of you and can actually be a great first step towards resolving disputes that arise. That’s simply agreeing on what you both disagree on. Even though this is serious, it’s alright for us to have a little chuckle about it.
Identifying the key areas of disagreement and prioritizing them can be a boon to both of you because it gives you a start. It allows you to identify areas where you can both win. And helps clear out the really important details in the divorce. So if you can’t find much common ground – try to find the common ground that you have on disagreeing with each other!
Think about what’s truly important
Don’t worry about looking bad or coming out looking weak. These things aren’t important. What is important is that you both get what you want – which is a serviceable agreement to separate and move on with your lives. Don’t pick fights ‘just because.’ Come into mediation knowing what’s most important to you and what you’re willing to let slide or even take a loss on. This is as much a negotiation as it is a resolution – so be willing to be flexible on some things.
And while it’s not always advisable, some folks like to come and show their cards up-front and say what they’re willing to negotiate. It’s almost like American Pickers when they haggle with difficult sellers. Sometimes all it takes is a small transaction or resolution to begin building momentum to the bigger pieces on the docket. Sometimes all it takes is to get a little action going.
Learning to resolve conflict is an important life skill – but it’s crucial in divorce. If you need any help or advice on your separation, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll be happy to connect and help. Good luck!