Divorce often takes place during a time of intense conflict between spouses. The two of you likely are not getting along well with each other and may struggle to even communicate peacefully. The idea that you need to cooperate with one another may seem like an impossible goal. You might think that your only option will be to battle over every little detail in divorce court.
What you may need to do is to shift your perspective. Your emotions are normal and maybe even healthy given the circumstances. However, you don’t want to let your feelings run the show. If you look at the situation carefully, there is a perfectly rational reason why you should want to cooperate with your ex as you prepare for your divorce.
The more you fight, the more the divorce costs
Even before you factor in the emotional toll that constant friction with your ex will take on you or how witnessing parental disagreements will affect your children, the real-world, practical consequences of a high-conflict divorce are impossible to ignore.
It costs far more for you to litigate the details of your divorce than it will to negotiate them, even if you have to go to mediation first. According to data from 2020, the average cost of a divorce is $12,900, but the costs vary drastically. If you and your spouse can file an uncontested divorce, your total costs will average just $4,100 for the divorce. If you go to court and litigate two or more issues, those costs more than quintuple to $23,300.
Some kinds of damage you cannot put a price on
The kind of stress you will experience during an acrimonious divorce and the harm that your constant fighting could potentially cause to your children is damage that you cannot easily convert to a specific amount of money. The truth is that divorce is never easy, but you can choose to make it harder, more painful and more expensive by being adversarial about everything instead of cooperating to disentangle your lives.
Spouses who partner with supportive professionals and who keep their focus on the future are often able to achieve low-conflict, uncontested divorces. Understanding the possible consequences of your behavior during a divorce might help you approach things in a different and healthier manner.