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What's the secret to a good divorce?

You've probably seen news articles about couples who manage to sail through their divorce and remain friends -- even celebrating their "conscious uncoupling" together with a party.

How is that even possible?

Most people define a "good" divorce as any marital split that doesn't evolve into outright warfare and where both parties can walk away feeling reasonably satisfied with their end of the bargain. If you want your divorce to be like that, here are some tips:

  1. Enlist your spouse's support. Just because you're no longer a couple, that doesn't mean you can't team up when the potential benefits to you both are worth it. Unless you're both willing to play fair and work together, it can be very hard to have a peaceful split.
  2. Remain respectful at all times. Nothing is likely to sour your negotiations and the outcome of a divorce than word getting back to one spouse that the other has been "trash-talking" about them to friends and relatives. (They will likely eventually find out everything you said.)
  3. Be flexible. You should start your negotiations with your spouse with your end goals in mind -- but realize in advance that your spouse is going to do the same thing. Be willing to engage in a give-and-take so that you can both get at least some of the things you want. Otherwise, you may easily find yourself in litigation.

What happens if you're being reasonable and thinking of the future and your spouse isn't? Despite your best efforts, you may still be on the way to a contested divorce or a difficult battle over the assets. Make sure that you have an experienced attorney by your side.

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