5 Strategies for a More Amicable Divorce
The divorce process is never easy, but there are certain things you can do to make it more amicable. There are several issues divorcing couples need to discuss and contemplate, including property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody. Disagreements are likely to occur, and when those issues come up, how you handle them will define how your divorce will play out. If you and your spouse can be civil and work together, your divorce is likely to be less stressful, less time-consuming, and easier to resolve.
What is an Amicable Divorce?
Amicable means friendly, agreeable, or cordial. To have an amicable divorce means that you and your spouse are able to be civil with one another and negotiate the matters in your divorce in good faith. You don’t need to be best friends, but anything you can do to minimize conflict will facilitate finding resolutions that work for both of you.
An amicable divorce can do more than just make the process less stressful for you, it can also make a divorce easier on children and save time and money. Keep these facts in mind as you and your spouse attempt to keep things harmonious.
If you want to try to make your divorce more amicable, try employing these strategies:
1. Keep Your Emotions in Check
It is easy to let your emotions get the best of you in any argument, especially one where so much is at stake. The divorce process is extremely difficult for most people, and you might feel sad, angry, confused, frustrated, or any mix of emotions, making negotiations exceptionally challenging. Instead of letting those emotions out when you speak with your spouse, try finding other outlets. Rely on your closest friends and family members to support you, consider taking up a new hobby, a sport, or try going to therapy or a support group. Getting a handle on your emotions and working through your breakup will put you in a much healthier place once your divorce kicks off, making it easier to have civil, reasonable conversations with your spouse.
2. Assemble a Good Divorce Team
Your divorce team should include a divorce attorney. A good attorney will give you honest answers about your legal situation and create strategies to help you protect your best interests. Your team may consist of other professionals, too, such as accountants, financial planners, and realtors. It can also include counselors, child therapists, and others to help you and your family with the emotional impact of the divorce. Your team can help you work toward your long-term goals and provide objective information you need to make informed decisions.
3. Negotiate Instead of Litigate
Most divorces are settled outside of court. Divorce litigation should be reserved for when there are issues that cannot be resolved otherwise. Your attorney will work with you and your spouse’s attorney to negotiate the terms of your divorce. If there are areas where the negotiations are difficult, you can also choose to hire a neutral third-party mediator, a professional who is trained in resolving disputes.
While working on your divorce settlement, figure out how to communicate with your spouse in ways that reduce conflict. If talking in person or over the phone is problematic, for example, try communicating via email and copy your attorney in order to keep the discourse civil. Or, you can try to communicate as much as possible through your attorneys.
4. Keep Your Kids Out of It
Your kids are an integral part of your lives and their welfare will surely be a huge matter of discussion in your divorce negotiations. However, don’t involve your children any more than necessary. Discuss them when they are not present, and if you must argue or talk about some legal or emotional issue, do so where they cannot hear or see you. They know you’re getting a divorce, but their lives should remain as normal as possible. Agree with your spouse to work together to keep them from feeling manipulated or caught between you. Think of how your actions and words would make them feel before you speak/act and make every decision in their best interest.
5. Remember, There Are No “Winners” in Divorce
Nobody comes out of the divorce process a winner, and if that is your goal, you’re in for a bumpy ride. Divorce is emotional, messy, and stressful, and going into it with a competitive mentality will only hurt everyone involved. Instead, try to be fair-minded and focus on finding realistic and equitable solutions.
Contact McKinley Irvin for help with your Oregon divorce.