When you hear word ‘divorce’, your mind might immediately jump to drawn-out battles in the courtroom, emotional meltdowns and tirades about the painful process that you have to endure in order to legally separate.
While many divorces are a struggle, it is possible to have an amicable split.
Having an amicable divorce takes work and self-discipline on both sides, but both parties tend to be satisfied and comfortable once the process is done.
How does an amicable separation look for the average couple? It all comes down to a handful of simple steps:
1) Choose to divorce without blame
It’s so easy to cast blame on a partner in the midst of a divorce.
We’ll think things like “if she didn’t do X, Y and Z, then I wouldn’t be in this position right now,” or “if he didn’t act the way he does, I wouldn’t need to divorce him.”
In some cases, divorce seems to sneak up on couples that have grown apart or have failed to make time for one another.
Retroactive blaming begins, and suddenly a couple is arguing fiercely about past failures and mistakes.
The truth is that you can’t achieve an amicable divorce if you’re assigning blame in a relationship–even if it might be warranted.
Having an amicable divorce depends heavily on your ability (and your partner’s ability) to move forward without blame.
2) Know what’s important to you
Before you sit around the table to negotiate, take time to identify the things that are most important to you.
Is there a certain amount of time that you are intent on getting with your children?
Do you desperately want to own the home that you and your spouse purchased together?
Prioritize the things that matter most to you, and focus on those during your negotiations.
3) Be open and honest
Sometimes people are tempted to misrepresent themselves or their finances during a divorce.
Hiding assets, making claims about things that didn’t happen or trying to make the other person in your relationship look bad will put you on the fast lane toward a disastrous divorce.
Couples who want to split amicably will need to participate in “good faith negotiation”–a process where both parties lay all of the truthful and relevant information on the table in order to create an accurate financial picture.
From here, respect, open communication and honesty can help couples find a peaceful resolution in regards to their assets.
4) If children are involved, they come first
Divorce is undoubtedly taxing on the couple going through it, but it can be absolutely devastating to children at any age.
Young children might not be able to grasp exactly what’s happening, but they can sense tension, discord, sadness and stress at home.
Older children may realise what’s happening and have an opinion about it; an opinion that they aren’t afraid to share, even if it hurts to hear.
Having an amicable divorce is more important than ever when children are involved.
If both people in a relationship are working toward solutions that protect children and provide them with some normalcy, everyone is better off.
5) Choose a safe environment for your negotiations
Seeking out legal advice during a divorce will help you make informed decisions and give you some additional peace.
Choose a safe space for negotiating with your spouse, and if you enlist legal help, find an attorney who you can trust to be fair, calm and non-combative.
A peaceful environment, calm voices and kind words can go a long way toward having an amicable split.
If you are separating, please talk to us about the process you need to take to get the best possible outcome for everyone involved.
Call us on 07 3161 2762 or email at [email protected]