People make mistakes. That’s one of the most common and important lessons in life. It’s also a very common message of divorce. No marriage is perfect, and there importance of compromise can’t be stressed enough. But sometimes, after a lot of effort, it becomes clear that remaining in the marriage is no longer constructive for one or both parties. That’s when the subject of divorce comes up. It’s never the most happy moment; but it can actually be a very liberating thing for a couple to admit that it’s just not working out.

Whatever the particulars of the divorce (there are an endless number of unique situations), and despite the mistakes that were made by individuals during the marriage, there’s an enormous potential to make mistakes during the divorce itself. This is evidenced by the fact that there are so many “problematic” and “stressful” divorces that happen every year. Even if both parties feel ready to make the change, and are convinced that it’s the right thing for everyone involved, mistakes still happen that make the whole process a lot more difficult than it has to be.

By looking at three of the most common mistakes made by divorcing couples, and by understanding why those mistakes come about, you or someone you know might be able to avoid repeating them in the future.

1. Rushing the process

This is probably the most common mistake seen in divorce proceedings. Usually, by the time people are actually in the midst of a divorce, they’ve been trying to solve problems for a long time, and a certain level of exhaustion has set in. This can lead people to overlook important details, agree to things they don’t really understand, and do whatever it takes to simply “move the process along.” Only later, when the divorce is finalized, do they realize that some of the agreements don’t seem fair to one or both parties.

2. Saving disagreements for the courtroom

The idea that divorce has to be a tough process where couples have lawyers arguing for them in a courtroom is very much outdated. There are, of course, some cases in which this kind of litigation is necessary to solve disputes. But in many cases, it’s possible to reach a much more amicable solution through open dialogue and the involvement of a divorce mediation specialist and/or Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA).

3. Not putting the children first

When the mental and physical wellbeing of children is put front and center, there are constructive co-parenting solutions to be explored. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, many divorcing couples are more focused on their own perspective than that of the children, and this can lead to damaging long-term results.

Collaborative Divorce NJ

New Jersey and other states have created legal channels for something known as collaborative divorce. This process is distinct from “traditional” divorce in a number of key aspects. Most importantly, the details of the divorce are worked out in a private setting that includes the divorcing couple and any number of qualified professionals. Such professionals might include divorce mediators, therapists, financial advisors and/or attorneys. The goal of the process is an amicable outcome where divorcing parties work out their differences in private — not in front of a judge — and the entire process becomes easier and more economical as a result.