Family law solicitors Woolley & Co offer this practical 6-point plan to help keep your relationship on an amicable footing during divorce.
1. Avoid seeking revenge against your spouse
This can be difficult, especially if you feel that you are the “wronged party”. Focusing on the past is usually counter-productive when it comes to sorting out the arrangements for your children or finances. If the emotional temperature has already been raised in “tit for tat” exchanges, it will be much more difficult to resolve big issues sensibly. Pick your battles.
2. Keep communication channels open
If you are not on speaking terms with your ex-to-be and you don’t have a forwarding address for them, sorting out your divorce will be more difficult, and expensive. Ideally, keep talking to your spouse and get their up-to-date contact details. If you have managed to keep them on side, chances are they will be more receptive to your requests.
3. Never use your children as pawns
Whether you are married or not, you will continue to be co-parents of your children for the rest of their lives. You could seriously risk alienating your children when they are old enough to realise what was going on. Don’t do it.
4. Accept that the other person may be mentally or emotionally at a different stage of the process to you
Divorcing spouses go through different stages, including shock, denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance. If you have been planning to leave your spouse for some time, and they have no idea, it will probably come as quite a shock to them when they do find out. Whilst you may have had time to come to terms with what living without them will mean, they may not. Try listening to their concerns as it may help you understand their point of view.
5. Use your support network
Don’t be afraid to ask for support from friends, family, your doctor, church or religious organisation or a life coach if you are struggling. Mutual friends will not enjoy being asked to take sides, but true friends will be happy to help. Your lawyer may be able to put you in touch with a divorce coach so do ask.
6. Rise above it and stand your ground where necessary
If your ex is being completely unreasonable, resist the temptation to stoop to their level. It won’t make you feel any better. If you are being bullied or suffering domestic violence you may need extra support from your lawyer.
If you are able to come to an amicable agreement about divorce you can keep costs under control and may be able to split the cost of the divorce between the parties.
Woolley & Co offer a fixed fee divorce and also a free initial telephone appointment. Book a free telephone appointment here or call 0800 321 3832.