Divorce is never ideal. It should only be considered as a last option after all efforts to save a marriage are exhausted.
However, just because your marriage didn’t work out doesn’t mean you and your ex have to hate each other. Of course, it’s often difficult to remain on friendly terms considering divorce is naturally combative. Breakups generally are preceded by arguments and disagreements and it’s never easy to find out someone you once loved isn’t the person for you.
But there are also cases where spouses simply grow apart and discover it’s best to go separate ways. That doesn’t have to taint all the great moments you spent together, and when you’re both in agreement that it’s time to move on then it is best to try to do so amicably. Doing so can save money and stress.
Here are four tips for making your divorce as peaceful and amicable as possible.
Keep the kids in mind
When you have children, it is extremely important to try to remain friendly with your ex after divorce as conflict between parents is linked to a number of harmful effects in children.
Even if your emotions are bruised, try to pick your battles wisely and ask yourself if it’s really worth staying bitter and angry if it could potentially harm your kids. Taking the high road is almost certainly in their best interest.
Don’t point fingers
Try to come to an agreement with your ex that neither of you are going to blame the other for the marriage’s failure. Once the divorce process starts, it doesn’t really matter who’s at fault. More than likely, there’s some blame both of you can shoulder.
Instead of fixating on who did what and why things didn’t work out, it’s healthier to look ahead and move forward with your new lives.
Be honest and fair about asset division and finances
This will obviously take cooperation from your ex, which is outside your control, but you both need to be honest with each other when it comes to asset division and other financial issues.
Debt, child support, spousal support and who gets what often spur the biggest arguments during the divorce process. So start with a level-headed discussion about who deserves to get what. When there are disagreements, calmly talk about why each of you feel that way and see if there is any room for negotiation.
This is one of the biggest hurdles to amicable divorce, but if you can come to a fair agreement it can go a long ways toward establishing a positive post-divorce relationship with your ex when you’re dealing with various child custody issues.
Finding a way to negotiate a settlement out of court is one of the best ways to minimize the financial burden that comes with most divorces. One way to do that is by going through mediation, which is a non-adversarial alternative to litigation.
Mediation involves both parties sitting down with a trained, neutral mediator to try to work out the disputed issues of the divorce. Successful mediation can cut litigation expenses that can quickly rack up if you spend much time fighting in the courtroom.
However, even if you do go through mediation, it’s still a good idea to meet with your divorce attorney beforehand to make sure you are prepared and don’t get taken advantage of.