Divorce often puts people in uncomfortable positions. Many people feel angry and frustrated, but also want to avoid bitter courtroom battles and get through the process as quickly as possible. This can make some people feel like they must play nice and be agreeable throughout the process.
However, while it is important to try to focus on cooperation in the interest of finding solutions, "playing nice" may not be the best approach in all situations. We examine a few of these situations below.
When the other party is being unreasonable
Taking a more aggressive approach to resolving divorce-related matters may be necessary when the other party is being unreasonable or difficult. They might refuse to negotiate or make unrealistic demands, for instance. Or they might agree to things only to repeatedly change their minds. These unreasonable behaviors not only drag out the divorce process, they might also spark less peaceful methods of dispute resolution.
When your safety is in danger
If your ex was abusive or threatened you or your children with violence, then you need to be diligent about protection during a divorce. Rather than give the other person the benefit of the doubt to avoid causing a rift, prioritize your safety and your children's well-being. Don't feel the need to placate the other party at the cost of their safety or your own expense; instead, talk to your attorney about ways to protect yourself while pursuing a fair settlement.
When you do not trust the other party
Loss of trust is not unusual between divorcing spouses, but if the trust issues are so serious that you feel like your ex is capable of hiding assets, making false allegations, or lying about other critical details during the divorce, firm action may be necessary. For example, you do not need to rely on your former partner's representations about the value of property or amount of debt. Instead, consider protective measures like hiring financial professionals or collecting evidence of false statements from emails or social media.
Amicability can get you through some uncomfortable discussions. However, when a fair settlement, your safety, or your rights are on the line, you may have to act more firmly to resolve issues.