Let’s face it, nobody gets married hoping it’ll end in a separation. The best thing you can do is try to get through everything as best as you can, and aim for a relatively civil divorce from your ex-spouse.
It may seem impossible to do anything amicably with your old partner, but it is possible to have a peaceful divorce.
An amicable divorce can be the best thing for you, your ex, your family, and your friends. Here are our 7 must-follow steps for anyone wanting to learn how to end a marriage peacefully.
1. Don’t Rush Into Being Friends
“Let’s just be friends” may be the worst thing you can hear when you’re single, but one of the best things you can imagine when you’re ending your marriage.
That said, quickly trying to be friends with someone you’ve just ended a marriage with can do a lot more harm than good. Even if you both have the best intentions, you could end up giving unintended signals or hurting each other if you try to force a friendship too soon.
It’s okay to take time to heal. It’s even okay if the most you can do is be civil to each other during meetings. Not everyone is meant to be friends, and it may not be in the cards for you and your soon to be ex-spouse.
Maybe all you can muster early on is to be civil and polite. Once things are over and you’ve healed from the pain, you can work towards friendship if it feels right.
2. Lean on Your Own Support System
Finding friends and family members to talk to during your divorce is absolutely critical for healing. However, when you’re finding allies, you should try to find someone who can solely be on “your team”.
This can be difficult when you’ve shared a life for many years, but if you want to find a safe place to vent, stick to people who you’re more closely affiliated with than your spouse.
You never know who you can trust when you’re going through a separation. A friend you thought was on your side may tell your spouse about something you said or did in the heat of the moment.
Finding someone you can trust who is only close to you can give you a safe place to vent, and also avoid putting someone you care about in an awkward position.
3. Have Flexible Expectations
If you were the main breadwinner while your spouse stayed home with the kids, it shouldn’t surprise you if he or she asks for child or spousal support or both. On the other hand, the spouse who was a “hands-off” parent may go for joint custody or equal parenting time.
Sometimes an otherwise straight forward divorce can become complicated simply because one party has unreasonable expectations about what is going to happen.
If you have kids, unless your spouse is a monster, expect a custody agreement that doesn’t have you as the sole parent. Be prepared to figure out how to deal with your home so that both of you benefit. The sooner you adjust your expectations, the happier you’ll be.
4. Stay Civil
Your soon to be ex is saying a lot of outlandish things to their lawyers and your mutual friends. They’re accusing you of being a cheater, liar, and possibly even an abuser and you’re worried about their false reality hurting you in court.
Your spouse may not be playing fair, but that doesn’t mean that you should stoop to their level. The best thing you can do in this situation is to be civil and act calm about everything that’s happening.
Judges are rarely happy to learn that a party to a divorce has been lying. The truth will eventually come out. Bide your time. The best thing you can do is build your case against your ex’s lies.
5. Make Your Lawyer Your Messenger
Some people like to enlist mutual friends, family members, and in some bad cases, their children as the official messengers to their spouse. Doing that can put people you love in an awkward place, or can even hurt them. It could also spell trouble for you down the road.
Remember, a custody agreement done on your own may not hold up in court if it’s not fair, but one done with legal advice from your lawyer has a better chance.
Making your family lawyer handle communication between both parties ensures that your message is getting through, and could help protect you from legal troubles.
Having a lawyer deliver news can also help ensure that your message gets through without any drama. You never know how someone you have a personal connection to will deliver the news.
6. Consider Therapy
Are you feeling extremely sad or angry over your divorce? Do you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to during this difficult time? Are you concerned about your mental health?
Sometimes talking to a professional can do wonders for your mental state. If you’d like a safe place to talk, consider speaking with a therapist.
A therapist can help you work through your feelings and potentially wrap up issues you feel are unresolved. Therapists are confidential, healing, and are 100% focused on helping you out.
7. Save Dating for Later
When you’re going through a divorce you may feel eager to start dating again. There’s nothing wrong with wanting companionship, but you may want to wait a bit before you start dating.
A divorce can be an especially painful and confusing time for some. You have a lot to focus on, the last thing you’ll want to do is bring someone else into everything when you’re still working things out.
It’s okay to potentially think about going out and seeing what’s out there, but you should save getting into something serious until everything is finished.
Get Your Amicable Divorce Started
If you follow the right advice, it’s possible to take the high road and have an amicable divorce. Keeping things civil and leaning on your lawyer can do a lot of good for people going through a divorce.
Remember, we’re here to help you every step of the way and be the legal counsel you need.
Be sure to contact us today so we can figure out the best way to represent your interests.