Working towards an amicable divorce
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Contrary to popular belief, not all divorces need to be full of conflict and disagreement. Just because couples have decided that they no longer want to be together separating can be done sensitively and considerately. At Eatons, our family law team have wide-ranging experience of arranging divorces in which both partners feel they have been fairly treated and emerge ready to move on to the next phase of their lives.
Of course, divorce is always going to be an emotionally challenging time for both partners, especially if they also have children. But there are certain steps that anyone can take to minimise the upset.
1. Try not to blame
When a relationship breaks down, it can be all too easy for partners to apportion blame. This is very understandable but it’s not very helpful in terms of drawing a line under a relationship. But if both partners can bring themselves to accept that this is a marriage that has reached a conclusion and in which both will be happier after separation then this lays the foundation for a more amicable divorce.
2. Focus on the big picture
It can be very easy to start taking a very close interest in the most insignificant of issues when you’re negotiating a divorce. But arguing about who will get a particular piece of furniture or similar demand can waste time and energy when both partners would be better off questioning exactly what they want and need from the divorce. By taking a broader look, it will help to focus and what is really important.
3. Negotiate in good faith
Even if the divorce has been caused by a lack of honesty or openness by one or both partners, if a divorce is going to go smoothly it relies on being truthful. So all assets must be openly revealed, with none being concealed. In most relationships, one or other partner tends to take greater responsibility over finances but this is the time when the burden should be shared and absolute openness should be the only option.
4. Put the children first
While it’s the parents who have decided to divorce, this is something that will affect any children and they will have had little or no say in the matter. So, instead of thinking about what your demands might be in terms of access and other matters, look at it from the children’s angle to see what they would like best - and then work from there.
5. Try to keep out of court
This might sound like a surprising thing for a solicitor to say, but if a divorce can be arranged without the need for adjudication in court, this is going to be better all round. It will be quicker, cheaper and less adversarial. So going to court should also be regarded very much as a last resort when all attempts at mediation and other forms of negotiation have been tried and have failed.
6. Look to the future
Last, but definitely not least, it’s a question of both partners being able to look to life post-divorce and what they want from it. Yes, it can be hard to be positive in situations of great emotional upheaval, but by managing it the whole process can be turned into an experience that, while never being 100% positive, will at least provide some light at the end of the tunnel.
At Eatons, we appreciate that no divorce is easy. But we do have a great deal of experience of advising all kinds of clients about making it as pain-free as possible. So if you’d like to find out more, why not arrange an initial appointment today?
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