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Guide to a good divorce


Nov 23, 2021

Given all the horror stories you hear either in the press or from people you know, it is understandable that you would think that getting divorced (whether it is your decision or not) is hard work, stressful and a traumatic process to go through. However, although it may not always be smooth sailing, you can still have an amicable divorce.

During the divorce process, you are going to have to discuss finances, children, living arrangements, property and pensions etc. The chances are that these discussions may bring back memories and be difficult to talk about, but that doesn’t mean that the whole process has to be difficult. To make matters a little easier and to have a good divorce, it is worth remembering the five C’s: Communication, Compassion, Commitment, being able to Compromise, and Collaboration with your ex-partner.

Communication in a divorce is key

Realistically, there are going to be times when discussions about key aspects may become heated, and it is possible that you may fall out with each other for a time, so it’s important that you place down some ground rules in relation to communication with each other. Work out the best way of communicating with your ex (such as email, text message or face-to-face meetings), how often you will communicate with each other and for what reason. Some couples would like to try and remain friends and will want to check in with each other to see how they are. Alternatively, some couples only want to communicate with their ex when they have to discuss matters relating to the divorce. Therefore it is important that ground rules are put in place to help everyone understand where they stand. For example, agreeing to communicate with each other via email allows you the opportunity to think about what has been said and how you would like to respond before you actually do so, therefore potentially allowing any negative emotions to dissipate slightly and preventing the matter from becoming extremely acrimonious. There is also the advantage of having a record of the conversation for reference if needed later on.

Having compassion for each other

Depending on the circumstances, it is possible that your ex may have not expected to get divorced and may be struggling to process their emotions alongside all the practical elements that need to be dealt with. No two people deal with the divorce process in the same way, so it is important that you remember to respect each other and whatever feelings they have. Respecting your ex-partner and giving them space and time to process matters will go a long way to helping the divorce process go as smoothly as possible and may even have an impact on what kind of relationship you have with each other after the Decree Absolute is pronounced.

Work collaboratively

Working collaboratively with your ex-partner through the divorce process will help reduce the amount of conflict you may face. If you’re able to work things out and come to agreements together, then the risk of arguments between you and your ex-partner is going to be considerably lower than couples who aren’t willing to compromise or resolve issues amicably. Understanding each other’s goals and wishes at the beginning will help you have a better understanding of how to approach the divorce and what to expect from each other.

Commit to your goals

When considering separation, or even if you have already started the divorce process, it’s a good idea to think about what you might want the outcome to be. For example, if you have children then you or your ex-partner might wish for them to stay in the family home so that they have some form of normality and stability. However, it is important to recognise that in order for this to happen, whoever wishes to stay in the family home with the children may have to buy the other out of their share in the house or make a compromise on any claim they may have on another asset in order to off-set any benefit they gain by retaining the family home. 

Once you have decided on what a fair and reasonable outcome to you looks like, it’s important to commit to them. However, it is equally as important that you do not take an oppositional stance just for the sake of it. By working closing with a family lawyer you can work out what needs to be done in order to achieve your goals as well as whether the outcome you wish is feasible and fair to both you and your ex-partner. Remember that decisions about what you want will always carry a cost, but committing to what you want will provide focus when it comes to discussing those elements of separation.

Compromise on things

Compromising is moving to a middle ground where both parties give and take to an acceptable level. There are going to be times when you are going to have to compromise, such as in relation to child arrangements and certain aspects of the matrimonial finances.

Keep in mind that compromising is not a sign of weakness. Instead, it allows both parties to remain positive and to have an amicable relationship with each other both during and after separation. By finding out what you both want the outcome of the separation to be, you can work with your solicitor to reach compromises that everyone is happy with. 

Finally, remember that you don’t have to go through the divorce process alone. You have the help and support of family law specialists as well as your friends and family.

Hawkins Family Law is a divorce law specialist, specialising in all aspects of divorce and financial matters. If you are looking for a reliable divorce lawyer to help you through your divorce, then check out their website https://hawkinsfamilylaw.co.uk/.

By Sbarton