How to Achieve an Amicable Divorce
If you have decided to end your marriage, the last thing you want is for it to turn into an emotional and financial nightmare. It’s understandable that both you and your spouse may be feeling overwhelmed, upset, angry and worried about your future, but that makes it even more important to remain calm, take a large pause and try to avoid confrontation whenever possible. And even if you cannot agree everything at the start, if you can agree to at least attempt an amicable divorce, it will help lay a great foundation from which to discuss and ultimately resolve all the issues.
In this blog post, we’ll answer the question “what is an amicable divorce?” and dive into the benefits that come with the process. In addition, we’ll discover how to divorce amicably with our checklist.
What is an Amicable Divorce?
Amicable divorce means that both parties agree to any property and financial asset division, any ongoing payments such as spousal maintenance or child support payments and agree their child arrangements.
Although it’s in everyone’s best interests to stay on good terms, it does not mean you have to stay friends or even like each other when it’s over. This type of arrangement’s primary purpose is to make parting easier for everyone involved – you are agreeing to keep your parenting relationship by working together in the best interests of the children and agreeing your financial arrangements fairly so you can move afford to live moving forwards. You are also keeping as much as possible of the ‘financial pot’ within your family.
Benefits of Amicable Divorce
If you are attempting to achieve an amicable divorce, there are some great benefits that make the process a whole lot easier. Let’s discover just a few of them now:
- A UK Amicable Divorce is Faster – One specific benefit of an amicable divorce is the speed. An amicable process can be done in a fraction of time, making it much more desirable than going through contested proceedings which could take months or even years to complete.
- Less Stress – An amicable divorce is much less stressful. Why bring negative energy into your life when you can avoid it? When divorcing, if you are able to work with your spouse on an agreeable arrangement, the whole experience will be much easier and better for both of you. You’ll also find that being amicable helps keep a focus on what’s ahead rather than dwelling in negativity about the past.
- A UK Amicable Divorce Costs Less – Another main benefit to an uncontested divorce is the lower cost. A contested divorce can be expensive, depending on how much conflict there is in your case. Some cases can go into six figures – many contested cases cost tens of thousands. Ask yourself, is it worth fighting over? Will I spend more money fighting my corner than the amount we are actually arguing about?
How to Divorce Amicably
To make the process easier, we at Mediate UK have put together a UK amicable divorce checklist to keep you updated on all things you need to consider for a peaceful separation.
Answering the questions below can make it easier for both parties to separate from one another. You’ll be able to get all necessary practical tasks done, so that there is more time left over for creating a positive future outside of the marriage or relationship:
The Parenting Plan
- Create a parenting plan that benefits the children. Where will your children live and when? Who will they stay with? Will this change during school holidays?
- When will your children see their grandparents? How often will they see them?
- Are you on the same page when it comes to rules and raising your children?
- When special occasions like Christmas and birthdays come around, who will the children stay with?
- Figuring out finances is essential. Who is financing school, vehicles, study essentials, clothing etc.?
- How will you fund two households, when beforehand you were likely funding just the one? Answering this question will often give you the answer on how to fairly divide up the assets.
- If you have investments or savings, figure out how to divide them fairly. The starting point, called the yardstick of equality, is usually 50/50.
- If you have debts or other liabilities, how will they be settled? Who will be responsible for paying them?
- Will you split the divorce fees, and keep costs as balanced as possible?
- Are you keeping or selling your family home? If you’re keeping it, who’s going to stay in it and who will move? Consider the 10 options you have for the former marital home.
- Is the agreement affordable? Have we maximised our incoming budgets and considered ways to reduce expenditure in order to balance the budgets. Is there a need for child or spousal maintenance between us?
Most importantly, remember to stay honest, kind, and fair. Understand that marriage breakdowns aren’t easy, and they impact everyone the same way – even your ex spouse.
Gather a positive support network, and take everything one step at a time. You want to be in a position when you can look back in five year’s time and say that, whilst it may not have been the most pleasant of experiences, you are proud of how you handled your divorce and prioritised your children. And it is never too late to want to achieve that.
Interested in learning how to achieve the perfect divorce? Check out our blog post:
Want to find out more about UK amicable divorce?
Mediate UK are an award wining Family Mediation Service and can help with reaching agreements on all your finances and parenting arrangements as part of a divorce or separation – we are also the top-rated family mediation service in England & Wales.