Divorces can be nasty, but they don’t have to be.
I recently wrote about Adversarial Divorce, which is a divorce where neither party can agree upon divorce terms. It’s is a long and nasty form of divorce. I received many questions in response to that article from people wondering how they can avoid an adversarial divorce, as they go into the process themselves. The wonderful part about this is that you have a lot of control over how the separation unfolds, and can easily make it amicable. Besides meeting with a divorce expert, follow these 5 steps that tell you how to have a peaceful divorce.
Before we dive too deep into the 5 steps, let’s first discuss what it means to have an amicable divorce.
What is an Amicable Divorce?
An amicable divorce is also known as uncontested. It’s much different than it’s opponent, the contested divorce which involves spouses disagreeing over and negotiating terms of the divorce. Couples must agree upon issues such as:
- Property Division
- Alimony/Spousal Support
- Child Support
- Division of Debts
An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree upon the items listed above before entering into the divorce process. You can imagine how peaceful the process is when there’s seemingly nothing to argue over. That’s why I refer to this as a peaceful divorce.
Why Should You Have an Amicable Divorce?
I could go on for years about the benefits of choosing an amicable divorce. For the sake of time, I’ll keep it short. Here are a few reasons why you should work to have a peaceful divorce:
- You Will Save Time – The timeline for divorce is shorter when done so peacefully. It’s shorter because after agreeing to terms, all the couple needs to do is file the forms with a family court and wait a separation period until receiving the court’s approval.
- You Will Save Money – Notice that the timeline doesn’t include visiting an attorney’s office. Because couples agree on terms and file papers in court, they can skip out on visiting an attorney, saving spouses money on legal fees.
- You Will Save Peace of Mind – Peace of mind reason is priceless. By saving time and money you’re saving yourself from the prolonged stresses of a contested divorce. This alone is a reason to work towards an agreement.
Are you on board for amicability? Let’s talk about how to achieve it.
How to Have a Peaceful Divorce
If you research nothing more about divorce, I urge you to follow these 5 steps to achieve an amicable divorce.
Step 1 to a Peaceful Divorce: Put Emotions to the Side and Focus Towards the Front
Though it seems hard, putting past negative emotions to the side during a divorce is possible. This is especially important during the negotiation stage. If emotions and past feelings of blame come into the mix, it will be difficult to obtain unity. With that being the goal in mind, I suggest meeting with a 3rd party (such as a divorce expert) before starting the process to your fears or frustrations before diving into the separation
Step 2 to an Amicable Divorce: Think About the Big Picture
Keep your mind towards the future. In most scenarios neither you or ex will maintain the same living standards you had while married. It’s very rare that property, time and income with stretch far enough to cover both party’s past lifestyles. This is important to think about so you understand that you’ll have to adjust to a new normal. In this case, think about what’s most important to you now, as a divorcee. Envision your realistic new normal the whole way through.
Step 3 to a Fast Divorce: Know What You Have and What You Want
In an amicable divorce, the standard starting point is diving resources evenly, 50/50. If you know evenly split assets isn’t in store for you and your spouse, be aware of your wants and needs before division. Make a list of your financials, assets, and future plans in order to prioritize. Be upfront and honest with your spouse about this list to promote an environment of mutual respect and dignity.
Step 4 to a Good Divorce: Put Your Child First
Besides time, money and peace, children’s happiness is a major benefit of a good divorce. When parents put their pride aside and make positive co-parenting the center of their focus, peacefulness is easily attained. Not only because of settled custody and visitation terms but because of the stress it will alleviate for your child. When you’re stressed, so is your child. A painless divorce is beautiful for the entire family.
Step 5 to a Peaceful Divorce: Create a Calendar of Events
In order to keep the divorce on track, it’s best to set up timeline expectations from the beginning. Create a calendar of events with or for your spouse to follow to avoid missing major deadlines. Although the uncontested divorce process is faster than a contested divorce, there are still many forms and appointments you must follow-up on along the way. Stay organized to stay stress-free.
If it looks like you’re headed towards divorce, do your best to make sure it’s amicable. Although a peaceful process is possible, it’s not always easy. When you need extra assistance turn to a third party specialist to help guide you through the steps of a peaceful divorce. I’m here to guide you when the tough gets tougher.