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Work with each other instead of against each other during split

The traditional image of divorce that many people hold in New Orleans goes something like this: A couple gets married, their relationship breaks down, someone decides to call it quits for one reason or another, and then everything goes to pieces. Emotional breakdowns are common, heated arguments happen regularly, and the courtroom becomes a war zone between generals who used to fight for the same side. This is not how divorce has to be, no matter what sort of property is at stake and no matter how hard you fight for primary custody of your kids.

Ex-spouses often use the property division process to take out their anger on one another. Remember that rug you have always loved? The traditional expectations of divorce may cause you to believe that your soon-to-be ex will make sure you don't get this asset. Instead of trying to hurt one another during this process, remember that Louisiana is a community property state. This means that you can get this process done and over with much sooner if you realize that you and your ex will both be starting anew, walking into the unknown minus a partner you shared a portion of your life with.

When property isn't the issue that couples try to make worse than it has to be, it's the kids. Custody determinations are often the focus of a divorce. Again, in the traditional view of divorce, this is another process that ex-spouses often attempt to use to make the other parent feel less than adequate. This is unhealthy for both the children and the parents. It is not in the best interests of any of the involved parties. Instead, many people are working toward a good divorce, one in which the ex-spouses maintain a relationship after the divorce is finalized, perhaps as co-parents or perhaps as friends. Having such a person in your life - a person that knows you, for better or for worse - can make for a solid support system when times get tough.

Source:  Seattle Times, "Couples can divorce without drama: Beyond the hurt, anger and fear" Susan Kelleher, Aug. 30, 2013

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