How To Achieve An Amicable Divorce In Six Simple Steps

How To Achieve An Amicable Divorce In Six Simple Steps
How To Achieve An Amicable Divorce In Six Simple Steps

Initially, the concept of an “amicable divorce” might seem contradictory. After all, divorce signifies the decision of two individuals to part ways because they no longer wish to remain together. If everything were harmonious, divorce would not be on the horizon.

Nevertheless, navigating the legal process of ending a marriage should always be approached with pragmatism and cooperation. Understanding how to pursue an amicable divorce can save you time, money, and further emotional strain.

Admittedly, achieving this is easier said than done. Any family breakdown inevitably brings emotional upheaval, with tensions running high. However, it’s crucial to focus on moving forward, addressing necessary matters, and transitioning into the next phase of life. In this blog, we address common questions about amicable divorce and outline six steps towards achieving one.

What is an amicable divorce?

People may interpret “amicable divorce” in various ways, but typically it refers to a divorce process that minimises conflict and avoids contentious court proceedings.

An amicable divorce often entails the separating couple collaborating to reach agreements on matters like dividing finances and arranging child custody. This approach may involve private negotiations and mediation to settle these issues, rather than relying on a court to make decisions.

Is it possible to have an amicable divorce?

Certainly, it’s entirely feasible to pursue an amicable divorce, and this has become increasingly commonplace. Fewer couples now rely on contentious court proceedings to dissolve their marriages.

The recent introduction of no-fault divorce in England and Wales has made avoiding unnecessary conflict in divorce more straightforward. This change eliminates the need for one spouse to attribute blame for the marriage’s breakdown and largely prevents someone from contesting a divorce initiated by their spouse. In fact, spouses can even apply jointly for divorce if they so choose.

Choosing the right lawyer can significantly facilitate an amicable divorce. It’s crucial to select a legal advisor with the requisite skills and experience to minimise conflict while safeguarding your best interests.

What is the process of an amicable divorce?

There are two primary aspects to getting divorced: applying to a family court to end your marriage and deciding how to divide your finances and handle any children you have. Both parts of this process can be managed amicably with the right legal support.

The introduction of no-fault divorce has simplified the process of applying to a court to end your marriage and reduced the likelihood of conflict. However, it’s important to consider how you communicate with your spouse about this decision.

When initiating a divorce application, you can often avoid conflict by discussing it with your spouse beforehand rather than surprising them with an unexpected application. You may also consider making a joint application with your spouse to involve both parties from the outset.

Deciding on financial division and arrangements for children can potentially lead to conflict. Nonetheless, negotiating these matters with your spouse is usually achievable, and many couples reach agreements through mediation.

Mediation involves meeting with a trained mediator who assists you and your spouse in discussing and making decisions on these issues. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator, fostering constructive dialogue and diffusing potential conflicts. This approach promotes a more amicable process and can avoid the need for court proceedings.

While mediation is a popular choice for divorce, it’s not the only option for achieving an amicable separation. We recommend discussing all available options with your divorce lawyer early on in the process.

6 steps to an amicable divorce

Over the years, we’ve gathered some tips that can assist if you’re struggling with how to achieve an amicable divorce. While it takes effort from both parties, consider sharing these points with your soon-to-be ex—it could be beneficial in fostering a smoother process.

Don’t try to get revenge

Attempting to gain an advantage over your spouse or “take them for all they’re worth” is counterproductive. This approach is unlikely to yield the desired outcome, fosters resentment, and prolongs the divorce process, adding to both time and cost. It’s best to let go of past grievances and focus on resolving the divorce efficiently.

Keep talking

You must communicate with your spouse to resolve matters. Avoiding communication only increases costs, as all correspondence will go through solicitors. Additionally, if you have children, effective co-parenting requires open communication and up-to-date contact information.

Leave the children out of it

Never use children as tools or to gain leverage. This is unfair to them and can lead to alienation. It’s crucial to prioritise their ongoing relationship with both parents and avoid attempting to alienate them against the other parent.

Be understanding

During a divorce, individuals may experience various emotional stages, such as anger, denial, and shock. Your ex-spouse might be at a different stage than you, especially if you initiated the proceedings. It’s important to acknowledge this and show empathy for their position. Listen to their concerns and propose constructive ways to move forward, where possible.

Phone a friend

Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, doctors, or others during this challenging time. Even if they are mutual friends, true friends will not want to take sides and should provide support for both of you. They can serve as a pressure release valve for you. Alternatively, you can seek the assistance of a divorce coach for additional support and guidance.

Rise above it

If your ex is being unreasonable, strive to maintain your composure and avoid engaging in their behaviour. Show that you can handle the situation maturely and responsibly. If you encounter threatening or abusive behaviour, seek support and advice from your lawyer. They can guide you and connect you with additional agencies that can provide assistance.

How do I navigate an amicable divorce?

Having the right legal support can greatly facilitate an amicable divorce by minimising conflict and ensuring you understand your rights and the impact of divorce on your life.

All family law specialists advocate an amicable approach to divorce and related issues such as financial arrangements and child custody, in line with Resolution, the national body for family lawyers. Resolution members adhere to a Code of Practice promoting a non-confrontational approach to resolving family matters. At DLS Solicitors, all our lawyers are Resolution members dedicated to providing an amicable divorce service.

Confrontational negotiations between estranged couples are counterproductive, especially when children are involved, leading to prolonged proceedings and increased costs.

Choosing a family lawyer who is a Resolution member ensures that you work with someone committed to achieving the best outcomes for families without prolonging or exacerbating the divorce process. At DLS Solicitors, approximately 75% of cases are handled amicably, and this trend is expected to continue.

The increasing number of Resolution members reflects a shift away from aggressive legal tactics portrayed in media depictions of divorce. An amicable divorce is more achievable when working with a Resolution member.

Our recommendation is to select a lawyer who is a Resolution member and follow their guidelines. By doing so, you are more likely to achieve an amicable separation, which can help manage costs and enable both parties to begin their new lives more smoothly.

Contact Us

At DLS Solicitors, our experienced divorce lawyers provide specialised legal guidance to facilitate a streamlined and stress-free divorce process. We offer personalised advice tailored to achieve an amicable divorce while also providing guidance for situations that require a more assertive approach.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
24th April 2024
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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