Your fairytale romance didn’t end with wedded bliss; that was just the beginning. It was after the vows and the gown and cake that the real work began. Lives were led, lies were told, and sometimes what’s been broken just cannot be fixed. If your marriage is ending, that doesn’t mean you are doomed to a nasty back-biting divorce. There are things you can do to remain civil, amicable people throughout the whole ordeal. Here are three things to keep in mind when trying to obtain a friendly divorce.
It isn’t going to be easy. Don’t worry that there’s something inherently wrong with you if the thought of spending an hour in mediation with your soon-to-be ex makes you want to throw up a little. No matter how badly you want things to work out and for everyone to remain friends, it’s a long rough and tumble road. You’ll stumble, you’ll stall, but eventually you’ll get there. Remember that the person doing the leaving and the person being left will have different emotional needs. Even if the divorce is uncontested, at least one, if not both, parties will still be feeling sad about the love lost between you. There is no rule that states you must decide today and divorce tomorrow. As much as you might long for this to be over, taking time to recognize each other’s feelings will go a long way towards mending what’s left of your relationship.
Realize the common goals. It’s easy to focus on your differences now that you are splitting up but keep in mind that both of you really want the same outcomes, to end things quickly and fairly. If you have children it is doubly important as your goals probably include not subjecting your children to bitterness, anger and hate and avoiding years of therapy. When all else fails, take a step back and try to remember that you once loved this person and while it’s hard to admit it now, good times were had by all not so very long ago.
Keep it classy. When you’re feeling hurt or angry is the absolute worst time to talk to each other. Insults and accusations will not help you achieve your goals. You spent enough time arguing and assigning blame before deciding to get divorced. Now is the time for separating, healing, and moving on. Learn to let go of the past and look only towards the future. If you cannot be civil with each other or if trying to divide assets with your former partner leaves you wanting to bash your head into a wall repeatedly, hire a mediator.