Divorce is a very personal experience. People file the divorce for all kinds of reasons, ranging from a slow change in compatibility to infidelity. In theory, there are laws that guide the process to help ensure that the outcome is reasonable and fair.
Unfortunately, emotions often get the better of those going through a divorce, leading to irrational and often counterproductive behavior. Certain considerations are more likely than others to trigger intense emotional reactions. Those expecting to divorce in the near future should take time to determine what issues could derail their divorce and set their priorities in such matters as early as possible.
1. Issues involving children
Nothing is more likely to make someone angry or anxious than the possibility of losing access to their children. The good news is that sole custody outcomes are relatively uncommon, as judges recognize that children benefit from having both parents actively involved in their lives. However, parents may fight bitterly over how they share time with and responsibility for their children.
2. Pets and other property with emotional value
Technically, a purebred Basset Hound is only worth what someone would pay for them in the eyes of the courts. Judges do not treat animals like family members, which means that the outcome of litigation related to pets and other animals is typically winner-take-all as opposed to a shared ownership approach.
Other property could also provoke emotional responses because of the memories attached to those assets. Vacation homes, fine art and many other possessions could be worth more in sentimental value to the spouses. They can therefore end up causing significant conflict during property division proceedings.
3. The biggest assets, like home equity and retirement savings
The divorce process isn’t just about the end of a marriage. It is also about what resources someone has as they begin rebuilding after the divorce. The largest and most valuable assets in the marital estate often lead to significant conflict because spouses desperately want to retain as much of the value from the marital estate as possible.
Retirement accounts, businesses, investment holdings and home equity are among the most valuable assets that people may view as the source of their future financial stability in a divorce. They may therefore inspire the most intense demands and disputes.
Identifying the property and parenting challenges that may trigger an emotional response can help those preparing for divorce avoid compromising their case unintentionally.