Divorcing Amicably: 7 Things You Need to Know

by | Jul 19, 2022 | Collaborative Law, Divorce and Finances, Divorce Professionals, Mediation, Navigating Divorce

Divorce is fraught with emotional, legal, and financial landmines. During and after the process, you will experience cycles of different emotions, including fear, depression, confusion, anger, and resentment. Not only are you mourning the end of a marriage and the breakup of a family, but you may also be facing significant changes to your lifestyle, security, and finances.

But what many people fail to realize is that while a divorce is painful, it doesn’t have to be messy.

The myth of the messy divorce

Divorce is often viewed as an adversarial process where one party wins and the other loses. Words are exchanged, blame is assigned, and assets are divided. Even then, the winning party rarely emerges unscathed. In this messy divorce paradigm, the “winner” and the “loser” are saddled with expensive legal bills, not to mention the emotional trauma inflicted on everyone involved.

Many people are familiar with stories of protracted courtroom battles, conflict, and retaliation. While such scenarios are par for the course, a modicum of compassion and cooperation can ensure that a divorce solves more problems than it creates. You can even have a healthy, amicable divorce with the right planning.

What is an amicable divorce?

An amicable divorce is where both parties collaborate to achieve outcomes that benefit each other and other relevant parties, such as children or dependents.

Instead of approaching the process with acrimony, the separating couple commits to minimizing conflict and a fair division of assets and responsibilities, such as custody and child support.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to help ensure a smoother divorce.

1. Don’t rush the process

There is nothing to be gained from forcing someone to join a process they have no desire to be part of. To divorce amicably means waiting until both parties are ready to come to the table.

The person who initiated the divorce has had more time to prepare for the process and think about what they want. Meanwhile, the other party is still processing their emotions — most of them negative. Collaboration and communication are all but impossible in this state, and rushing the process will only result in bitterness.

That said, there are instances where the passage of time isn’t enough to dull the pain of the impending divorce. You might want to consider working with a divorce team so that emotions on both sides can be managed and the process continues with minimal interruptions.

woman packing up a box

2. Know what you own and want

Asset division often emerges as a sticking point in divorce negotiations. To make the process as smooth as possible, both parties must list all marital assets and agree on the value of each item. This will serve as the foundation of the financial settlement.

It’s also essential to take a minute to think about what you want, materially speaking. Understand that you may not be able to get everything you want, and negotiating the terms will require a lot of compromises.

Often, separating couples make their demands based on “what” they want but rarely consider the “why.” Some people may feel that they are owed something and aim to maximize their gain while disregarding the other party’s needs. These kinds of negotiations are almost always acrimonious in nature and often result in ill will.

When presenting your demands, explaining “why” you want something and working with your former partner to find a solution that works for everyone would be beneficial. You may find that dialogue can minimize the stress in what is often the most stressful part of the process.

3. Find a communication style that works for you

Whether your’re litigating or at the mediation table, communication is essential to a healthy divorce, but circumstances may prevent one or both parties from engaging in productive dialogue. If you find communicating with your former spouse challenging, you may want to consider alternative avenues that work better for you.

For instance, you can prepare a script or write down your talking points before a face-to-face meeting. Not only does it help you remember important details, but it also takes emotions out of the equation when the process becomes emotionally difficult. You may also choose to discuss certain things over email rather than in person.

4. Prioritize self-care

The stress of a divorce may affect your physical and emotional health, which is why it’s important to practice self-care.

For starters, having a positive support system can make a big difference in your well-being. Look to your family, friends, and peers if you need emotional or practical assistance. You may also join a recovery support group for guided support as you navigate the next chapter of your life.

The changes brought on by a divorce can also be disorienting. I’ve found that sticking to an old routine, or creating a new one, may help you regain a sense of normalcy that was lost. You shouldn’t also discount the benefits of staying physically healthy through regular exercise and a balanced diet.

woman talking to a therapist

5. Say “thank you”

A simple “thank you” goes a long way toward keeping the process smooth and amicable. Whether you’re negotiating financial arrangements or deciding on a bedtime for your children, you want to acknowledge your former partner’s efforts and that you appreciate their patience and cooperation.

Gratitude can also help defuse high-stakes divorce proceedings. Some people may just want acknowledgment for being the breadwinner, and expressing appreciation and recognition for the other party’s contributions can make them more agreeable to ongoing support.

6. Talk to experts

Think about what other advice or assistance you may need to move forward. Divorcing spouses can benefit from talking to an expert to help them prepare for an independent life. Divorce is a period of rebirth, and a reluctant spouse’s holdup may be resolved by understanding the different components of the divorce.

For instance, a Certified Divorce Financial AnalystⓇ can assist you in understanding the financial impact of separation and provide a strategy that will help you build a secure post-divorce financial foundation. The subconscious drives 90% of decision-making; when both parties better understand the negative financial feelings they may hold, a more empathetic resolution may be achieved.

An expert can be invaluable in determining if a proposed settlement is in your best interest and will cover your financial needs, as well as disentangling shared bank accounts, creating a new budget, and other vital elements of life post-divorce.

 

A Certified Divorce Financial AnalystⓇ can lead the separation process as a Family Financial Mediator, serve as a Financial Neutral in collaborative law, and provide divorce financial expert services. Keeping family matters private and answering the most complicated questions of the divorce is their specialty.

Victoria Virilloff - Divorcing Amicably: 7 Things You Need To Know author on The Better Apart Blog

About the Author

Victoria Kirilloff CDFA was at a crossroads; she could not stay married but did not know how to leave. Victoria’s decade long partnership had far exceeded its expiration date, but they were deeply financially intwined. Searching for a pathway to freedom, Victoria went back to her roots of financial analysis and report writing (which is how she got her first horse). Victoria created the first Divorce Impact Analysis report which laid out the marital financial facts and different settlement ideas. After a shockingly productive conversation, Victoria and her former partner came to a resolution and peacefully separated. That’s when a lightbulb went off in Victoria’s head! Victoria realized that she could not only help others leave their timed-out marriages but also guide them to becoming financially empowered in the process.

Connect with Victoria or Book a discovery call

Determined to bring a modern peaceful approach to the divorce process, Victoria founded DivorceAnalytics.com. DivorceAnalytics.com focuses on bringing financial clarity and transparency to the divorce process and illustrates the real-world impact of proposed settlements. By concentrating on the financial facts, Victoria shifts the divorce process from destructive to productive.

Victoria is a lifelong learner and spends most of her free time increasing her knowledge base. In addition to being a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and a mediator, Victoria holds seven other different financial services licenses and designations.

If you would like to understand the impact of your divorce and make data-driven decisions during an emotional time or would like help replacing fears with facts, book a free clarity call with me at hello@mywealthanalytics.com.

Victoria Virilloff - Divorcing Amicably: 7 Things You Need To Know author on The Better Apart Blog

About the Author

Victoria Kirilloff CDFA was at a crossroads; she could not stay married but did not know how to leave. Victoria’s decade long partnership had far exceeded its expiration date, but they were deeply financially intwined. Searching for a pathway to freedom, Victoria went back to her roots of financial analysis and report writing (which is how she got her first horse). Victoria created the first Divorce Impact Analysis report which laid out the marital financial facts and different settlement ideas. After a shockingly productive conversation, Victoria and her former partner came to a resolution and peacefully separated. That’s when a lightbulb went off in Victoria’s head! Victoria realized that she could not only help others leave their timed-out marriages but also guide them to becoming financially empowered in the process.

Connect with Victoria or Book a discovery call

Determined to bring a modern peaceful approach to the divorce process, Victoria founded DivorceAnalytics.com. DivorceAnalytics.com focuses on bringing financial clarity and transparency to the divorce process and illustrates the real-world impact of proposed settlements. By concentrating on the financial facts, Victoria shifts the divorce process from destructive to productive.

Victoria is a lifelong learner and spends most of her free time increasing her knowledge base. In addition to being a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and a mediator, Victoria holds seven other different financial services licenses and designations.

If you would like to understand the impact of your divorce and make data-driven decisions during an emotional time or would like help replacing fears with facts, book a free clarity call with me at hello@mywealthanalytics.com.

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DISCLAIMER: The commentary, advice, and opinions from Gabrielle Hartley are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice or mental health services. You should contact an attorney and/or mental health professional in your state to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. 

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