A few weeks ago, we noticed that the MySA site ran an article promising five tips for what they called an “amicable divorce.” Though divorces are sometimes difficult and often filled with big and powerful emotions, many of the people who go through divorce want something “amicable” at least by the end of it — in which you maybe don’t leave the marriage as friends, but don’t need to leave it as enemies either.
Like we discussed a few weeks back, if you’re looking for your divorce to be a beginning as well as an ending, it’s easier to do that without revising old arguments and harboring bad feelings for someone out of your life. (And, if you’re having to co-parent, it’s easier to be in a post-divorce relationship that’s not adversarial.)
The first tip is to “Make Sure the Marriage Is Truly Over,” which dovetails with a blog article we published just last week, on making sure you’re really ready for a divorce before you go down that road. If one person in a divorce has a decidedly different level of what’s called “divorce readiness” than the other, it can cause delays and present challenges to everyone involved. The process of making sure the marriage is over, through marriage counseling, can take time and work, but if it doesn’t save the marriage, it can at least help both people leaving the marriage to develop a greater divorce readiness.
The article also advises couples to “Keep the Big Picture in Mind,” which is especially helpful if the divorcing couple has children. Couples who have children don’t stop being parents when they get divorced, and though they may not see eye-to-eye on everything, they’ll have to come to some sort of consensus over matters concerning their kids. An amicable divorce can be a good start toward that. (They also offer up a separate point about keeping the well-being of the kids in mind, but to us, that’s just the biggest part of the big picture.)
Another tip offered up is to “Act in Good Faith.” We know that some couples are better at doing this than others, and in some litigated cases, it’s hard to convince the other side of this no matter what you do. But with alternative dispute resolution methods like collaborative divorce and mediation, the emphasis shifts from “winning” to trying to find “win-win” solutions, and it can help couples to mutually show good faith.
The last tip they give is “Accept that the Situation Is Unpleasant.” That doesn’t seem like positive advice on its face, but it’s actually really good advice. It acknowledges that divorce can be emotional and can be really hard to endure. Change brings fear for a lot of people, and divorce is one of the biggest changes of all. It is, however, something that you can weather. We know that because we’ve seen a lot of people weather it and be better for it, even though it might not feel like that at first.
At the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, we can help you if you’re looking to have an amicable divorce, no matter how you’re going about it. If you think you absolutely have to litigate to get what you want, you might not have to — and in our initial consultation with you, we can determine your goals for the divorce and what options you have for getting there.