Can Divorce Ever Really Be Amicable?
What Is an Amicable Divorce?
An amicable divorce refers to a civil divorce process between spouses. Rather than opt to navigate a contested divorce, couples who amicably divorce, decide to work out the terms of their divorce (i.e. property division, alimony, child support, child custody/visitation, etc.) themselves.
Approaches to an Amicable Divorce
There are several ways that couples can proceed with their divorce and remain amicable. Three common options are:
- Uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce involves couples negotiating their divorce settlement out of court and filing a divorce petition they agree upon with the court.
- Collaborative divorce. This type of divorce involves filing uncontested after couples negotiate the terms with their respective lawyers.
- Divorce mediation. With this process, a couple will meet with a neutral third party, a mediator, and during their mediation sessions, they will work together to agree on a divorce settlement.
Tips for an Amicable Divorce
Even if you and your partner have decided to pursue an amicable divorce, you should still be advised of the following advice to help you navigate the process.
- Research and understand your options. Before committing to an approach, you should research the different options (i.e. collaborative divorce, mediation, uncontested divorce, etc.) to better understand what each process will be like. Consulting with an attorney can also help you keep your expectations realistic.
- Accept the emotional process. The five emotional stages of divorce include denial, grief, anger, sorrow, and acceptance. Even though you have decided to have an amicable divorce, you can still be emotionally affected by the divorce, and you may experience all five of the emotions. Give yourself the time and space to process your emotions healthily.
- Be kind to yourself. It can take time to adjust to all the changes that divorce can bring to your life. Give yourself time to adjust to your new normal, and don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for support.
- Identify your financial and personal goals. Knowing you want to have an amicable divorce is only the first step in the process; you also need to identify what you want so that you can have a strategy to protect your interests in the proceedings.
- Prioritize your children. Many couples opt to have an amicable divorce because they have children. If you do have children, focusing on them can also help you navigate the proceedings smoothly. Negotiating child custody or visitation and child support can be one of the hardest terms to agree upon, but in focusing on what is best for your children, you and your partner may also be able to agree more easily.
Do You Need a Lawyer in an Amicable Divorce?
Whatever approach you take to an amicable divorce, you should consult with an attorney. Because of their understanding of the law and the legal process, they can advise you on what route may be best for you, and with a collaborative or uncontested divorce, an attorney is a key part of the process. If you decide to pursue mediation, an attorney can also help you connect with a mediator and understand the process.
With over 35 years of legal experience, Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office can help clients pursue an amicable divorce. Known for our high-quality services and dedication to our clients, we handle uncontested divorces and can help you navigate the process.
Learn more about how we can help you with an amicable divorce by calling (727) 312-1112 or reaching out online today to schedule a consultation.