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How to Get an Amicable Divorce: Top 8 Strategies for a Peaceful and Fair Process


wedding rings in a dish
An amicable divorce benefits you both emotionally and financially.

It's been proven that navigating through the ending of a marriage is one of life's most emotionally taxing experiences. An amicable divorce offers a path that can significantly lessen both the emotional and economic burdens often associated with the divorce process.


By focusing on mutual respect, open communication, and a shared goal of coming to an equitable agreement, couples can turn a new leaf with dignity and possibly, a maintained sense of friendship. (One can only hope!)


Here Are 8 Tips To Achieve An Amicable Divorce:


1. Prioritize Open Communication


The cornerstone of an amicable divorce is effective and open communication. The aim is to maintain dignity and respect in all exchanges. This could mean using written communication for complex discussions to avoid impulsive emotional responses or enlisting a mediator to facilitate tougher conversations.


Do This: Commit to regular, scheduled discussions about the divorce proceedings and related decisions. Keeping communication channels open between spouses during divorce helps to iron out any misunderstandings that arise during your divorce negotiations.


2. Engage in Mediation


Mediation can significantly reduce the emotional and financial strain of divorce. It involves both parties working with a neutral third party to negotiate and come to agreement on key aspects of the divorce. According to the American Bar Association, mediation tends to be less costly and time-consuming compared to traditional litigation and promotes more durable agreements.


Do This: Research and hire a reputable mediator. This professional should have proven experience in divorce mediation and a style that suits both you and your spouse’s personalities.


Not sure what to ask a potential mediator? Download the freebie 24 Questions To Ask A Divorce Attorney Or Mediator. It's a great starting point and has a section to keep your notes and consultations organized!


Check out this Step-By-Step Guide To Prepare For A Divorce Mediation. It walks you through exactly what to do and what to expect!


3. Understand and Organize Your Finances


A clear understanding of both parties’ finances is crucial for an equitable settlement. This includes knowledge of all debts, assets, incomes, and expenses. Transparent sharing of this information prevents misunderstandings and fosters a fair negotiation.


Do This: Create a comprehensive list of all financial assets and liabilities. The Divorce Planner's digital divorce prep and financial planning tools have helped thousands of people prepare with ease! The worksheets, logs, and spreadsheets simplify the processes and walk you through exactly what you'll need to do.


4. Set Goals and Boundaries


Knowing what you need, what you want, and what you’re willing to compromise on can make negotiations smoother. Setting boundaries about what is okay to discuss with children or mutual friends can also preserve emotional health.


Do This: Write down your non-negotiables and areas where you’re willing to compromise. Approach negotiations with a clear understanding of your priorities so you don't get hung up arguing over stuff that's not important to you.


5. Keep Children's Interests at the Forefront


Focusing on what is best for any children involved helps maintain amicability. This means creating a co-parenting plan that prioritizes the children’s needs, schedules, and emotional health.


Do This: Develop a detailed parenting plan, including schedules, holidays, and communication guidelines.


Bonus! Listen to this interview with parenting plan expert Samantha Boss to learn how to craft a parenting plan that works best for you and your family.


6. Choose Collaboration Over Litigation


Collaborative divorce takes mediation a step further by involving legal representation, but with the mutual goal of avoiding court. Both parties and their lawyers commit to reaching a settlement without litigation, often bringing in other professionals like financial advisors and divorce coaches as needed.


Do This: Hire a lawyer who is trained in collaborative divorce and is committed to reaching a consensus outside of court.


Learn more about collaborative divorce in the post 5 Ways To Get Divorced.


7. Lean on Support Systems


Divorce is emotionally challenging, and having a supportive network, including professionals (therapists, divorce coaches) and personal connections (friends, family), is essential. They provide not just emotional support but also perspective.


Do This: Identify a support system including professional help if needed. Be open about seeking emotional support and consider joining support groups for individuals going through divorce.


8. Educate Yourself


Knowledge IS power. Educate yourself so you have an understanding the divorce process, your rights, and the laws in your jurisdiction can make you feel more in control and less fearful of the unknown. Having this information early in the process allows for more realistic expectations and preparedness.


Do This: Stay informed by reading reputable resources, attending workshops or seminars, and consulting with legal and financial professionals. The Divorce Planner's blog is a great free resource packed with insights into the divorce process, ways to save time and money, and masterclass mini-interviews with divorce professionals.


Financial and Emotional Benefits


Cost Savings: The costs of an amicable divorce, especially one mediated or settled through collaborative processes, are significantly lower than those of a divorce trial. Not only are attorney fees for litigation substantially higher, but the length of the process also often results in increased costs. According to Forbes, mediation can cost between $3,000 to $8,000, while a contested divorce can soar well into tens of thousands of dollars.


Emotional Well-being: The adversarial nature of a contested divorce can take an emotional toll on both parties and their children. An amicable process, by promoting collaboration and respectful negotiation, can preserve emotional health and even lay the groundwork for a healthier post-divorce relationship. This is particularly important when children are involved, as parental conflict has been linked to more adjustment difficulties for children in divorce situations.


By approaching divorce with an intention to remain amicable can significantly mitigate the emotional and financial toll. Employing the strategies mentioned – prioritizing communication, engaging in mediation, understanding finances, setting goals and boundaries, focusing on children’s interests, choosing collaboration over litigation, leaning on support systems, and staying informed – divorcing couples can navigate this transition with respect and dignity, laying a positive foundation for the next chapters of their lives.


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