Divorce does not have to result in animosity. Here are some tips on how to have an amicable divorce process.
Related: Divorce FAQs in California
Step 1: Stay Positive
Divorce is difficult for everyone involved. Stay positive to have an amicable divorce. Although it may seem obvious, remembering to stay optimistic is fundamental for a peaceful divorce.
Step 2: Determine and Adhere to Your Goals
Determine what is important to you–your wants, your needs, and your non-negotiables–in order to avoid problems with your spouse. Determining your goals is especially vital if you are a parent. Focus on your and your children’s futures, rather than the semantics of the divorce, to stay positive and have a successful, amicable divorce.
Step 3: Negotiate in Good Faith
A divorce negotiation in “good faith” occurs when parties are forthcoming and honest regarding financial information and ensure the information is complete and accurate.
In a good-faith negotiation, both parties reveal their financial situation truthfully and wholly. Negotiating in good faith results in transparent divorce proceedings and amicable divorce.
Step 4: Determine Co-Parenting
If you are going through a divorce with children, you may consider mediation a traditional litigated divorce. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process aiming to conserve relationships, in which a neutral third party facilitates productive discussions with your spouse in order to come to a resolution. The process is completely voluntary and confidential, where parties resolve their differences amicably. Mediation allows for you and your spouse to make decisions in the best interest of your children.
Mediation demonstrates a willingness for a peaceful divorce. Parents who choose to mediate may do so to put their children’s needs first, remain actively involved in their children’s lives (both parents), and be financially responsible for their children.
Mediation is successful and effective because it allows parents to consider and determine:
- The big picture (rather than the semantics often involved in divorce)
- Their children need to create a solid foundation for co-parenting
The Benefits of Mediation
Spouses may gain multiple benefits from mediating their divorce, especially if they wish for the divorce to proceed amicably.
Some of these benefits include:
- Less money spent on legal fees
- Spouses decide what is best for their child(ren), rather than the courts
- The conversations remain confidential
- Spouses operate in their own time, rather than the court’s time
- Spouses agree on child and spousal support terms
- Mediation encourages spouses to participate and communicate openly
Problems with Hostile Divorces
Divorce can already be stressful, which is why having an amicable divorce is important.
Furthermore, hostile divorces can result in a variety of problems, including:
1. Financial ruin
Divorce is expensive and can result in losses of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. A hostile divorce is more likely to become a financial burden as the divorce progresses.
2. Emotional trauma
Traditional divorce can result in spouses arguing over every last detail for years, resulting in immense stress and emotional trauma.