The 4 Feelings You Must Keep Out Of Divorce Negotiations

How to keep your emotions out of your messy divorce.

Keeping feelings out of divorce Kevin Malik, Karolina Grabowska | Canva

Divorce is a difficult end to anyone's marriage. You're left with the pain of failing your spouse and your kids and you're left with the uncertainty of what the future will bring. It's not uncommon to feel so helpless in this painful situation that you don't even care what happens — you just want to get it over with! When the time comes to negotiate the details of the divorce, it's common to now know where to start. Your feelings come up so powerfully that your sadness and anger can make the process more difficult and cause further tension between you and your soon-to-be ex. And, even after the settlement has been finalized, you can be left with feelings of regret. 


According to some lawyers, "Anger, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony are all part of the ugly undertow in any negotiations involving divorce." So how can you successfully negotiate a divorce settlement if your emotions conflict with the end goal? Well, here are some helpful ways to keep the emotions out of your negotiations and make this a smoother, more manageable process.

Here are the 4 feelings you must keep out of divorce negotiations:

1. Before signing the marriage papers, sign another very important paper

If one or both of you have a property with a significant amount of value, especially sentimental, opt for a prenuptial agreement in case you divorce. Prenups make negotiations way easier because you don't have to argue about the already-protected sentimental property (like the wedding ring that has been passed down in your family for generations.)

@maryscupoftea If you’re ever planning on getting married, a pre-nup must be a part of that conversation ESPECIALLY if you’re a woman. #financialfeminism #marriagetips ♬ original sound - Mary Jelkovsky

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2. Don't hire the same lawyer

If you do, your divorce attorney won't just be working for you, he/she will also be working for your soon-to-be ex. This leaves room for your attorney to become biased and fight for one of you more than the other during the settlement — leaving someone with an unfair settlement and a lot of regret.

RELATED: 10 Things Divorce Lawyers Do Before Officially Ending Their Own Marriages


3. Your lawyer is not your mediator-arbitrator

When you are so overwrought with the pain of divorce, oftentimes you don't even care what happens in the end. All you know is that you want it to end! If you're so angry at each other that you can't agree, you may turn to your divorce attorney for advice. Your attorney is there to advise and mediate, but avoid asking your attorney to tell you exactly how to come to a resolution. Attorney Katherine Miller aptly explains, "This is a question that makes me somewhat uncomfortable because what other people do, or what I think is fair is very biased by my own life — my own experience, my own training as a lawyer. It's not really about what's important to them." 

@pssfamilylawyer Mediation is an excellent option for couples who want a low cost, private, dignified divorce. Our office has handled hundreds of mediated divorces.#mediation #divorcetok #divorcelawyer #californiadivorce ♬ original sound - Patricia S. Snyder, Esq.

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4. Don't ever try to sway your kids' decision when it comes to child custody 

Divorcing parents often try to win over their kids' favor to gain their custody. They spoil the kids and give them everything they ask for ... and then some. They may even go as far as to turn their children against the other parent. Remember that this experience is just as difficult for your kids as it is for you, so don't impose feelings of guilt and hate on them to make the situation even more difficult. Plus, it won't be pretty if your partner finds out, and that could delay things even further.


RELATED: 8 Rules The Happiest Exes Follow For An Amicable Divorce

Katherine Miller is a matrimonial law attorney who has appeared on the Today Show as well as numerous other television and radio programs and has been quoted in national publications such as the New York Times, Money Magazine, and the Huffington Post.