You and your partner have talked, fought, negotiated, cried, and conceded. No matter how much you want to make things work, they just aren’t, and you have to get a divorce. You may be dreading divorce proceedings, feeling that you’ll inevitably wind up with an ex you can’t stand to be in the same room with.
But an amicable divorce is absolutely possible if you and your partner approach it the right way. Read on to discover how you can avoid a messy divorce and end things on the best possible foot.
Go to Couple’s Therapy
When you’re considering a divorce, one of the first things you should do is start attending couple’s therapy. For one thing, a good therapist may be able to help you work out the problems plaguing your marriage. You may be able to resolve your conflicts and save your marriage before you ever file for divorce.
Even if you do decide divorce is the right path for you, you and your partner will approach the process from a place of more understanding. You will have spent time talking through each of your grievances in a structured, civil way. And this experience will give you some of the skills you’ll need to negotiate a friendly divorce.
Let Go of Grudges
Once you decide divorce is the right choice for you and your partner, it’s important that you do your best to let go of your grudges. When a marriage ends, it causes hurt on all sides and there may be fights or unresolved problems that still eat you up. It can be easy to start using your divorce negotiations to vent some of those feelings and get back at your partner.
But at the end of the day, holding grudges causes more pain all the way around. Try to remember that this divorce is about finding a better path forward for you and your partner. Put the past in the past and don’t give into the urge to turn your divorce proceedings into a blame game.
Keep Your Feelings Out of the Negotiating Room
While letting go of your grudges is an important first step to a healthy divorce, it’s also important to keep your emotions out of the negotiating room. Divorce is difficult; not only are you losing a partner, but you may be losing a home and a life. You may start to feel like every concession you make in your divorce proceedings are a personal attack or an unbearable blow.
As much as you can, approach divorce negotiations from a rational, unemotional standpoint. Think about the practical implications of each concession, rather than the emotional ones. And don’t be afraid to take breaks if your emotions begin to get overwhelming.
Focus on Your Children
Divorce affects more people than just you and your partner. It will impact your parents, your friends, your family, and, most of all, your children. Although your own emotions and needs in the divorce may be complex to say the least, you have to focus on the needs of your children, too.
As much as possible, try to explain to your children why the divorce is happening, and be open and non-judgmental about any questions or feelings they may have. If they’re old enough to give an opinion, ask about their preferences for custody arrangements. And never, never, never use your children as a weapon to get back at your partner.
Work on Collaborative Solutions
When you’re going through a divorce, every decision can start to feel like a concession or a loss. Your emotions may start to creep into negotiations, no matter how hard you try to keep things civil. You and your partner will both be losing things, and traditional negotiations can start to break down quickly.
Instead of focusing on divvying things up between you and your partner, try to focus on collaborative solutions that work best for both of you. When you approach your divorce from a collaborative standpoint, each decision you make starts to feel like a win, rather than a loss. And consider involving a mediator in your negotiations to help with the hairier issues.
When you go into your divorce proceedings, you may have ideas about what you want to come out of the negotiating room with. You might think you have to get the dining set or primary custody or a greater portion of the home. But going in with set ideas like this can cause breakdowns when things inevitably don’t go to plan.
Instead, try to stay flexible about what your divorce will look like. Let go of the idea that anything is non-negotiable, and keep an open mind about settlement proposals. You may not come out with the exact wish list you went in with, but the amicable relationship you get with your ex will be worth far more than any settlement detail ever could be.
Focus on Building a Better Future
One of the best things you can do to ensure your divorce is amicable is focus on the goal of this process. You and your partner are doing this to create a better future for both of you. You’re leaving a marriage that doesn’t work for you in order to find greater happiness on both sides.
The hurt and problems in your marriage are in the past, so leave them there. During your divorce proceedings, look forward to what will create the best future for you and your family. This will help you keep your priorities in the right place, let go of counterproductive emotions, and view your split from your partner as a positive step for both of you, rather than a battle.
Get an Amicable Divorce
Divorce is a painful, challenging process, but it is possible to emerge with an amicable relationship with your ex. The key is to avoid turning the divorce process into an opportunity to get back at your partner for all your hurt and problems. Instead, let go of grudges, approach negotiations with a cool and flexible head, and focus on what’s really important for your future.
If you’d like help with your amicable divorce process, get in touch with us at Shapiro Family Law. We provide quality legal services in all areas of family law, from simple dissolutions to complex cases. Contact us today and make your divorce process easier and cleaner for everyone involved.