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3 reasons why 'playing nice' can backfire during divorce

We All Need A Champion

One goal that many people have when they divorce is to get through the process as peacefully as possible. While that is certainly attainable for some people, others are going to have a very difficult divorce. This is particularly true in contested divorces.

Unavoidable contention can make divorce even harder, and it can be tempting for people think that "playing nice" will just make everything go faster and smoother. However, before you decide to do this, you might want to consider a few reasons why playing nice isn't always a good idea.

  1. Daughters of parents involved in a high-conflict divorce reportedly are more likely to have "good quality, lasting first marriage[s]," than daughters of a "good divorce," according recent studies. Researchers also found that children of high-conflict divorce are no more or less likely than children of low-conflict divorces to achieve academic success. In other words, don't assume that struggling through ineffective mediation is going to automatically make things better for your kids.
  2. Playing nice to pacify an ex may help in the short-term, but not necessarily in the long run. People who feel bullied or coerced into accepting less parenting time than they want or giving up certain property can regret the decision long after the divorce is finalized. 
  3. You have rights that deserve protection. If these rights are threatened or if your ex is attempting to manipulate you into unfair agreements, you need to speak up. Whether the issue is your children, spousal support or the division of your assets, you deserve a fair agreement. If you feel like the only way to resolve disputes is to repeatedly give in to the unfair demands or requests of your ex, remember that your rights -- and your future -- are as important as anyone else's.

There are certainly situations where alternative dispute resolutions like mediation and collaboration can be effective and help people avoid at least some of the bitterness and anger of divorce.

However, playing nice can only get you so far if you are in a high-conflict divorce. Should the need arise to take a more aggressive approach to your divorce, an attorney can help you figure out how to fight for what you deserve.

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