For the most part, divorce is a dirty word. It carries connotations like “nasty” and “ugly”, and the media only makes things worse by publicizing the most contentious celebrity divorces on television and magazines. With all of this, it’s completely reasonable to expect that all divorces are nasty. After all, where do we ever see counter examples unless its Gwyneth Paltrow and her conscious uncoupling (which, by the way, is the exception to the norm). So, how do you have a “friendly” divorce and how do you define that for your own uncoupling? In this article, we will provide you with some tips for remaining amicable. Believe it or not, a friendly divorce can save you time, money, and a lot of heartache!
- Keep the Big Picture Top of Mind
Emotions like fear, anger, and resentment are fleeting. Everyone heals, and everyone moves on … eventually. This time is not going to last forever, but the decisions you make now may have a long-term impact on your life. For example, if you are trying to keep your children away from your spouse because of a conflict between the two of you, or withhold money or an asset out of anger, it will not help you achieve your long-term goals. Try to think about yourself a year from now. You are happy, healed, and well-adjusted once again. Is this future you spiteful? Does this future you really want the asset or thing you are trying to keep from your spouse to get revenge? The answer is most likely going to be no. So, do your best to act now in a manner that will serve your future self.
- Put your Children First
As harsh as this sounds, your children did not choose to be born into a family of divorcing parents. Most children would rather their parents live happily ever after and hope for an in-tact family. Whether you like it or not, your children are processing a traumatic life event. Your divorce, even if it is friendly, is having an impact on their lives. All you can do for their benefit is think of them first, and make decisions accordingly. This means that you may have to put negative feelings about your spouse aside and make the best decision for your children.
- Have Compassion
No one is perfect, including you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Even if there was a “triggering event” that brought on the divorce like financial indiscretion or infidelity, there was an entire marriage that you both had a major role in. Divorce, ultimately, is no one’s fault. It is the fact that two people, no matter how good or bad, could not find the means to make it work any longer. Even if your spouse was responsible for the triggering event, don’t under estimate that he or she may also be suffering. Do your best to have compassion not only for your ex, but for the situation. Divorce is sad and it is okay to acknowledge that.
- Consider the means you are using
Is the legal process you are using to get your divorce supportive of you being amicable to your spouse? Keep in mind that litigation, by its very nature, frames the spouses as adversaries. On the other hand, the spirit of mediation speaks to cooperation, mutual respect, and the most beneficial outcomes possible.
Keep in mind that your “best” may vary from day-to-day. It is completely normal and very common to experience the entire spectrum of emotions while going through a divorce. After all, you are grieving your marriage. If you need help with creating the right environment for an amicable divorce, call us at (949) 558-2624.