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Ten tips for a smooth and amicable divorce

Ten tips for a smooth and amicable divorce

It's never going to be easy but divorce doesn't have to be a battlefield. As part of Resolution's Good Divorce Week 2021, we explain what you can do to ensure your break-up is as pain free as possible:

  1. Be 100% sure that divorce is what you both want - there's less likely to be resentment and acrimony going forward if you both agree you've given the marriage your all, but that the time has now come to separate;
  2. Take legal advice as soon as possible - you can take a lot of anxiety out of the divorce process by finding a family lawyer you feel comfortable with and who can explain your legal rights, responsibilities and what to expect;
  3. Put your children first - you may be splitting up but you'll always be their parents. Make a pledge they'll never hear you bad-mouthing each other and agree together how you'll explain your separation and future living arrangements to them. Parenting agreements can help here;
  4. Think about mediation - if communication between you is difficult, get help from a trained mediator to resolve difficulties about finances or children. Wards Solicitors specialises in what's known as collaborative family law;
  5. Budget and consider a timeline - plan for costs and how you will both meet legal and professional fees as well as how long the divorce process and making arrangements for any children and finances will take;
  6. Be ready with your finances - dig out financial information including your bank statements, receipts, credit card statements, pay slips and mortgage statements as soon as possible. If you can work together to establish who owns what and who owes what, even better;
  7. Do everything you can to avoid going to court - it's impossible to overestimate how stressful - not to mention expensive - this option is;
  8. Going to court is a last resort- In financial proceedings a family judge has to take into account factors specified in law including the financial needs of both parties and children to achieve a fair outcome. In proceedings concerning children the welfare of the children is the judge's priority. One or even both of you might not agree with the judge's decision made about your family or your finances.
  9. Keep talking - if you can continue to share with each other your emotions, your worries, your hopes for the future, it will make a huge difference going forward;
  10. Look after yourself - remember that divorce is tough and that caring for your physical and emotional wellbeing is important. Friends and family can help but if you're struggling, your doctor may be able to recommend professional help from a counsellor.

Good Divorce Week 2021 runs from 29 November to 3 December. It's organised by Resolution, the national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce, separation and other family problems.

All Wards Solicitors' Family Law and Divorce lawyers are Resolution members and fully committed to the launch of its Parenting through Separation Guide, aimed at ensuring more families separate amicably with the best interests of the children.

Contact any member of Wards Solicitors' Family Law and Divorce team for help and information about family law or divorce-related issues.