While people don’t enter into marriage thinking that it will end, there are many statistics to the contrary. Ending any relationship is a sad and traumatic time for both parties, and can result in an acrimonious divorce, which can take more time than necessary. By having a strategy in place, and remembering to separate emotions as best you can, an amicable divorce is actually possible.
While not intended to be exhaustive, this guide offers three tips into helping the divorce process go as smoothly as possible, in order to minimize damage and emotional distress for both of you, and anyone else affected by your decision.
Build a Support Network
The feelings of loss and rejection can be painful; allowing yourself some time to feel this pain, and then coming up with a way to compartmentalize, will free you from negative behavior spirals, which will only damage you in the long run.
Whether it is your friends and family, or a counselor, make sure that you have a support network in place with whom you can talk about the emotional aspect of the divorce. Chances are, if you have opted for divorce, as opposed to separation, you have had some time to deal with the feelings of loss. A professional counselor or even online course can help you put some coping strategies in place to remain calm. Primarily, it is important to try not to see the divorce as a battle, and rather a truce. Potentially, you have tried everything you can and finally resolved to go your separate ways. It may sound counter-intuitive, but avoid spending time with anyone who is too vitriolic on your behalf. If you want a smooth divorce, surround yourself with supportive people who are able to dissociate emotionally from the situation.
Read Up on Divorce
Find out what your rights are and use the information to help you stay calm. There is always a temptation to take your upset and anger out on the other person, which will only exacerbate things. Knowing your rights to the tangible aspect of divorce will prepare you for the outcome. It’s also a good idea to decide, between you if possible, what you see as a fair split regarding joint ownership of property or businesses.
If you have children, find out about access rights and ways to negotiate this. There are independent advisors such as the family group conference who exist to help couples come to a reasonable solution, centering on what the children’s needs are. Remembering to avoid badmouthing the other parent is of key importance for maintaining a good relationship.
Seek Advice from Experts
Whether you opt for advice from a reputable legal advisor, or decide to see a mediator, you will need to speak to experts in order to understand exactly what will happen and what the best course of action is for your specific case. Finding a lawyer who understands you and you get on with can be worth its weight in gold, and should not be overlooked. Whilst there are some divorce lawyers who come across as passionate and promise you they’ll help you take everything, this is not the best approach to achieving an amicable divorce. Instead you will want someone who can provide a quick and clean service, that actually makes the settlement fair.
Zak Goldberg is a Law & Business Graduate from the University of Leeds who has chosen to follow his aspirations of becoming a full-time published writer, offering his expertise on all areas of law. He has been working recently with law firms such as Withers LLP.