In this blog we’re going to talk about how to separate amicably.
How can you separate in an amicable way when you are getting divorced?
Contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to end a relationship on good terms. And, especially when you have children together, having an amicable relationship can make all the difference to successful co-parenting.
Here are some essential tips from our divorce mediator Ian Shann on how to separate amicably.
Although you are about to embark on what is likely to be the most emotive and traumatic period you’ll ever experience, there is no need for you to go through this on your own. Everyone has at least one friend or close family member to lean on, and there has never been a better time to do that than right now. The people who love and care for you the most will be your support network.
The early stages – when your mind is clouded by countless emotions and you cannot see the wood for the trees – is the time you are going to need your support network the most. Chances are that you may already know of someone divorced – talk to them and learn from their experience.
Remaining socially active is vital. Do not isolate yourself – millions have gone through a divorce and survived. If you’re struggling to cope, there is also heaps of professional help out there as well.
Separate Your Finances
Life after divorce comes with certain financial challenges for most couples, even if there were two incomes. The difference now, is that there are two separate households to pay for. The time has now come to decide who gets what.
Once you have decided to separate, start to split your finances from joint to individual. This applies to bank accounts, mortgages, policies, regular bills, credit cards, loans and all other financial investments or responsibilities.
At some point all your assets and liabilities need to be divided up – either with the help of a lawyer or mediator. The rule of thumb leans towards equal division for longer marriages. It is advisable for divorcing couples to agree on as much as possible between themselves.
Check Your Emotions
Emotions are bound to play a major role in any divorce, especially during the early stages and even more, when children are involved. You may experience anger, blame, disappointment, and general apprehension of what lies ahead. It is unavoidable. It is not going to be easy, especially when it was not your fault, so expect to have days when you will battle to cope. It’s part of the process.
But there comes a point when emotions need to be checked, so the healing and legal processes can begin. How long it takes depends entirely on you. It requires strength and discipline but it will improve with each day.
Before reacting take your time to think each problem through. Often, an issue that seemed to be particularly distressing, becomes insignificant a day or two later. Having your emotions under control helps reduce the tension enabling you to think clearly to make better informed decisions.
Stick To The Facts
Once the process towards divorce gets underway, emotions should be set aside – from now on, only facts will matter. Sticking to agreements reached with your spouse, is a good starting point towards an amicable settlement.
Look for solutions that are beneficial and acceptable to your spouse too. This will encourage them to reciprocate, paving the way for a smoother ride and alleviating conflict.
Put The Children First
Children are often involved and parents should strive to make decisions that cause the least disruption to them. Divorcing amicably leads to having an amicable relationship with your ex after the divorce, which is better for everyone, especially the children.
When both parents focus on making decisions that make life easier for the children, you will find that many other issues fall into place.
Focus On The Bigger Picture
Divorce does not end by the signing of a piece of paper – it is merely the beginning of a new life for the entire family. How the divorce is handled by both spouses will have a bearing on everyone for the years to come.
Always try to think of the “big picture” and the long term goal and impact of your decisions. Avoid petty arguments to “win small” but “lose big”.
Choose Divorce Mediation
Apart from trying to do it yourself, there are two ways of divorcing in Australia – by going to lawyers or through divorce mediation. One may find a good family lawyer who t your issues resolved quickly and sensibly, but you may end up with one that is trained to fight and win at all costs, and from then on things can go pear-shaped.
Mediation is a totally different and much less costly concept.
Mediators do not act for either party but remain impartial, assisting parties to understand their legal rights, and helping them to reach their own decisions as quickly and amicably as possible.
Talk To Ian About How To Separate Amicably
Want to know more about how to separate amicably? Get in touch with Ian to help you through your divorce via mediation now.