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Divorce and separation

Tips for an amicable divorce

By August 23, 2018October 26th, 2021No Comments

We really like the tips in this article by Karen Covy writing in Divorced Moms on how you can divorce your spouse in the most amicable way possible, if this is important to you. The article points out that deciding to work towards keeping the peace and achieve an amicable divorce is a deliberate choice, and gives a comprehensive list of strategies for civility.

Why aim for an amicable divorce—even if you currently despise your ex?

  • You have to co-parent after divorce
  • You want to save money
  • You want to save time
  • You want to put your energy into building your new life and moving forward

The strategies listed are aimed at both doing things that will help make the divorce amicable, as well as avoiding doing those things that are likely to start a full-scale war with your ex-spouse.  Here are some of the suggestions in brief, adapted for our Australian audience, but it’s worth reading the original article.

  • Explore non-court options such as mediation, arbitration and collaboration. Avoiding litigation and resolving issues outside court.
  • Don’t hire combative lawyers—hire those who will help you divorce in the least destructive manner.
  • Seek divorce counselling, because this will help you “bring your best self to your divorce”.
  • Inform yourself—both on the basics of divorce and on your financial situation and options. “The more informed you are, the better decisions you will make”.
  • Lean on your support network for emotional support.
  • But listen to your divorce professionals, not the grapevine, about what you should do.
  • Understand that even though an amicable divorce is much better than a destructive, prolonged war with your ex, it will still be a tough process.
  • Have realistic expectations. Be aware of what you are entitled to and what is actually realistic.
  • Ensure full disclosure. Facilitating an amicable divorce is only possible if both parties comply with disclosure requirements.
  • Even if you want to avoid court, still get legal advice. You’ll still need help negotiating and you’ll want to make sure any agreements reached with your spouse are actually fair and beneficial to you with no hidden surprises down the track.
  • Be reasonable, even if your ex isn’t. You can’t control your spouse’s behaviour but if you behave reasonably yourself “you will at least contain the insanity to some degree”, and de-escalation is more achievable.
  • Move on from blaming your ex: “Blame is a form of attack. When you attack (blame) your spouse, s/he will immediately throw up a wall and start to defend him/herself, and that wall is just one more hurdle you have to climb” during negotiations.
  • When communicating with your ex, try to impose a one-hour delay on any replies you want to send to their messages (which may have pushed your buttons). This will help you avoid entering into destructive text or email exchanges. (You could also ask a trusted friend to scan your replies before hitting send, to help avoid inflammatory communications.)
  • Avoid self-medication. Alcohol and other drugs can bring out negative emotions and reactions which can derail an amicable divorce.
  • Look after yourself—get enough sleep, get any medical treatment you need, eat properly.
  • Look at the big picture. It’s not about “winning” every little point. Keep your eye on your ‘big picture’ goals.
  • Keep the effect on the kids in the forefront of your mind. The children’s best interests include minimising the conflict between the parents.
  • Lose the desire to punish your spouse, as this will interfere with your attempts at getting an amicable divorce. Speak to these issues with your therapist instead.
  • Practice gratitude—be overwhelmed by positivity rather than negativity.
  • “Negotiate in good faith”, meaning do not engage in legal or financial “dirty tricks”.
  • Trust but also verify. If you want an amicable divorce, you’ll need to put some faith in what your ex says! But go ahead and take steps to verify that you are getting accurate information.
  • Don’t badmouth your ex. When hurting, it’s hard not to want to lash out in return. Recognise that both parties may lose their control at times and lash out, but “don’t freak out. Deal with the issues. Close your ears to the noise”.
  • Take your time. There’s no external fixed schedule for dealing with your particular issues, so take the time you need—bearing in mind of course the time limits that apply under the Family Law Act 1975.
  • Finding forgiveness, and apologising. These can go a long way towards repairing damage done during divorce.

Read the original article.

Would you like to discuss your non-court options for divorce? Please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch here at Alliance Legal Services on (02) 6223 2400 to discuss how we can help you achieve an amicable divorce.

Please note our blogs are not legal advice. For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance Legal Services.

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