A key piece to having an amicable divorce is what is happening pre-divorce.
If discussing whether or not to part-ways, do it in a calm manner without assigning blame.
Use I statements to describe your feelings and unhappiness with the marital situation. Respecting each other is the cornerstone of having an amicable divorce.
If you are the one delivering the news, try to have compassion for your spouse and do it in a gentle way. Think about what brought you two together in the first place and what characteristics that you like about them.
This helps in seeing the big picture where divorce is part of what happens in your relationship, but does not end it. Some couples become better friends after divorce, especially when the process is conducted with integrity.
Litigation in court is adversarial where one spouse is pitted against the other one. In mediation or collaborative divorce, the spouses and their legal representatives work together as a team to accomplish splitting assets and finalizing the marital split.
Gov.uk has much information online regarding divorce and needed divorce papers.
It is possible to find online companies who provide guidance and a divorce kit for what is required by the court for spouses who want a divorce in this manner.
Some spouses want a DIY divorce to keep things simple. Choose what is most comfortable for you. Discuss how the divorce papers will be delivered to the other spouse if applicable. This can sabotage having an amicable divorce when they are served to a spouse in front of their boss or clients. Receiving divorce papers can be a shock, even when following a discussion about separating.
To keep divorce amicable there is give and take. Negotiations are low key without a winner take all attitude.
This involves listening to each other’s concerns and why a specific asset is desired. Flexibility and the willingness to compromise are paramount in keeping the process more easy going in order to discover creative solutions that are beneficial to both. It is understanding that neither party is going to get everything that they want with splitting assets, shared care and so forth.
To keep things amicable stay on task and leave emotion out it. If you find yourself getting hostile or defensive, take a short breather in proceedings to regroup. Aim to have a pleasant demeanour and if your spouse is becoming angry, suggest a break. Strong emotions can feed off each other and spiral out of control.
Do not start blaming your spouse during proceedings or make personal attacks on their character, no matter how tempting. Look at the common goal of getting the divorce completed and work together to get this accomplished smoothly.
Some couples I know, met at coffee houses during their divorces to work out splitting personal possessions. This was friendlier and cheaper than quibbling over artwork and china with their solicitors.
Vent with friends who can keep confidences.
During my divorce, a few people (some I barely knew) revealed what my husband was circulating around the community about me. You do not want to throw a spanner in the works of your divorce, by spreading gossip about your spouse. Keep tight lipped about what is happening so nothing can get back to them.
People do not need to know your business, so a vague “our divorce is coming along okay” will suffice. I brought pastries to our collaborative divorce meetings which contributed to a friendlier atmosphere.
If you genuinely like and respect your spouse, they can be an important ally post-divorce. They know you well and can give a job reference or be of assistance in emergencies. Some former spouses continue going together as friends to musical concerts and to other venues. When caught up in the unpleasantness of divorce, remember this is temporary and the person you once married can still be a friend.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.
She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.