Divorce is one of the most stressful times in anyone’s life. In some ways, that’s a good thing: when you’re going through it, know that you probably won’t have to do it again. But it can make it very difficult to move through the process objectively and not be filled with passionate resentment and frustration against your spouse in every single moment and interaction. To help you move forward, here are our 5 tips for a more amicable divorce:
- Understand That Divorce is Difficult
Even though most people are much happier on the other side of a divorce, no one enjoys the process. It will be emotionally taxing and lead to major changes in your lifestyle and financial outlook. We recommend trying to maintain realistic expectations. While you have options to speed it up, divorce will always take longer than you want it to. Understand that it can be a long process, and each party must make compromises and concessions along the way.
- Focus On Family
If you have children with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, keep your interactions focused on them. You both have the same goal: to do what is best for the children. Center your interactions on that and you may find yourselves working together to reach a common goal. If you don’t have children, remember that you and your spouse still have a common goal: to get divorced from each other with as little damage as possible.
- Communication is Key
Do you get into a fight with your ex every time you speak? One piece of advice is clear, open and honest communication leads to less communication. If that does not work, try to be neutral and professional in your communications with your ex. We understand this can be difficult. What might help is before hitting “send,” pause and ask yourself if you would send that email or text to your supervisor or boss. If not, think about rewording your email or text as if you were talking to your supervisor or the head of your company. That might help in adjusting the tone or wording of your communication. Also, ask yourself is this something I would want the family law judge or court commissioner to read? In a contested divorce or child custody case, emails and text messages are often submitted to the family law court. Avoid being negative, condemning or accusatory toward your ex in written communications because it can and will be used against you. Instead, use written communications to position yourself in the best light possible to the family law judge. You do this by showing you are a reasonable and calm person who thoughtfully responds instead of reacting. Last, If your ex is trying to bait you and get in a fight through email or text, remember there is no obligation to respond to them – and certainly none to respond to them immediately.
- Try to Work Together
If you and your ex are willing to work together, there are more divorce options available to you. An uncontested divorce or agreed divorce allows you to settle out of court, saving time and money while giving you a say in the outcome of your case. Mediation lets you discuss your feelings and your plans for the future in a safe, moderated environment. If you and your ex are willing to talk to each other and work it out collaboratively, you will get the closure you need much faster than you will in a courtroom.
- Take Care of Yourself
A good night’s sleep, exercise, and meditation are physical and mental activities which help your body deal with stress and reduce anxiety. Even mild exercise, such as a brisk walk or briefly mediating each day, can be beneficial to your health. If your medical insurance covers counseling, now would be a good time to start seeing a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). They can help you process what you are going through in your divorce and give you practical advice when dealing with your ex. Not to mention, it is a lot cheaper to vent to your therapist for an hour about your ex instead of your divorce lawyer! Engaging in any of these activities on a regular and consistent basis allows you to maintain your composure and be more patient, tolerant, and mindful throughout the divorce process. Try it—it may just change your life.
Ask For Help
At Akiona Law, we believe in caring for you in your time of crisis. We know from experience that pushing towards a more amicable divorce means moving towards a brighter present and future. Contact Akiona Law today for supportive, experienced guidance towards smart solutions.