Going through a divorce is a difficult and emotional process. If you choose to work with an attorney, you should strategize with your attorney on how to proceed with the opposing party. You should also choose an attorney who you trust and who understands your goals. Your attorney is your advocate and you should communicate constructively with your attorney and cooperate with requests coming from his/her office.
In addition to cooperating with your attorney, you should consider being cooperative with some of the other side’s requests. Oftentimes, soon to be divorced couples are hesitant to cooperate with one another. This can be for a variety of reasons; however, cooperation with the other party (in certain cases) can help you resolve your issues in a more time efficient manner. You can both have separate attorneys and cooperate through your attorneys to resolve the issues in your divorce.
An important thing to keep in mind is that, if you have an attorney, you should always go through your attorney when communicating with your spouse. Whether it be negotiating a temporary arrangement, making settlement proposals, attending mediation, or providing documentation, it is always smart to involve your attorney. Your attorney can also help advise you how to strategically cooperate with your spouse while maintaining your goals.
Although there are certainly circumstances where cooperation is not appropriate (e.g. the other side is being unreasonable, domestic abuse has occurred, etc.), more often than not, it can help the process move forward. For example, failing to provide documents to the other side may result in a Motion to Compel, which can be costly. Ultimately, each situation is different and each request by the other side is also different. However, choosing how to strategically cooperate at certain stages in the process can be a helpful tool.