During a divorce, some people shy away from all conflict in the interest of moving the process forward; others engage in every opportunity for conflict to “win.” However, in most situations, the most productive and healthy solution is to choose your battles – wisely.
Choosing your battles means letting go of trivial arguments and defending your position when something critical is on the line. In the complicated haze of divorce, it can be difficult to understand when and how to do this, but there are some tips to make it easier.
Set your priorities
Whether you are sitting across from your ex in mediation or about to see them in court, it is easy to become upset and overwhelmed when you come face-to-face with them. The anxiety and emotion of that event can make it easy to lose sight of what you truly feel and want.
To avoid this, set your priorities ahead of time. Stop and think about what you value and want from your divorce. Make a list of the divorce-related issues you feel strongest about and areas where you are prepared to give in. Organizing your thoughts ahead of time and having a plan to refer to in moments of stress can help you stay level-headed.
Take time to respond
Imagine your ex calls and says they want spousal support, or you see a post on Facebook that they will seek full custody of your child. Whether these statements are accurate or not, they can set off a powerful response.
Rather than engage in a fight at that moment, step away from the conversation or computer. Reach out to your attorney about your options or do something enjoyable to distract you. When you come back to the issue, you can be more informed and calm.
Manage your expectations
If you have inaccurate or unreasonable expectations, any situation that conflicts with those expectations can lead to an argument.
Therefore, you would be wise to familiarize yourself with basic Texas state laws regarding divorce. You can also talk to your lawyer about what to expect so that you can make informed decisions.
Conflict can be unavoidable in a divorce. However, when you choose your battles, you can minimize unnecessary fighting and focus on pursuing the outcome you want and deserve.