Ahh, the dream.
Having an amicable divorce.
While it’s not the norm, knowing how to navigate the mutual separation agreement can make things go smoothly.
This is ESPECIALLY true if you and your spouse are roughly aligned on how things should be divvied up.
But if not?
No big deal, this article will still help you figure things out so you know what to look out for.
So, keep reading.
How to Have a Mutual Separation Agreement
If you know how to go about it properly, you can have an amicable separation and, even better, an amicable divorce.
Mutual divorce and separation aren’t a rare occurrence.
The divorce rate in the US is between forty and fifty percent.
And subsequential marriages have an even higher divorce rate.
You don’t have to end on bad terms just because your romantic relationship is over.
If you’re interested in remaining on good terms with your ex, keep reading for some advice.
Here are seven tips for a peaceful mutual separation agreement.
1. Communicate and Compromise
Communicating with your ex is the key to achieving a peaceful, mutual separation.
And it’s one of the most important aspects of the divorce process that couples often ignore.
Getting on the same page with your divorce allows you to have a more affordable divorce.
Sitting down and discussing your break up may make you cringe, but it helps.
It provides a chance for a new beginning.
Compromise with your ex about finances, living arrangements, and shared responsibilities.
If you can’t afford to get another place, you’ll need to discuss your options.
Some people may be able to continue sharing a home while others choose to move back in with loved ones.
2. Behave Professionally
You can avoid letting your emotion get the best of you by acting professionally.
See this as a business transaction coming to an end.
Be courteous and demonstrate you can be trusted to handle it maturely.
Whatever happened in your relationship doesn’t have to taint your peaceful separation.
You can learn to let it go and leave it in the past.
Handling your emotions is important for keeping the peace.
3. Ease Into Changes
When you first begin the separation paperwork and the divorce process, continue your responsibilities.
Pay your usual bills and maintain a stable environment.
Wait to make changes until after you sit down with your ex to discuss how to move forward.
You may feel single and ready to mingle, but don’t go rushing out the door on dates.
This is true whether you’re the wife and your husband wants the divorce.
Or you’re the husband and your wife wants the divorce.
Have respect for your spouse and discuss dating others.
You can instead use this time to focus on self-love and care.
4. Discuss Separation Pathways
You’ll need to familiarize yourself with mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, separation law, and divorce laws.
The list of laws you should really have a grasp on is kind of annoying.
This is why you should consult a separation agreement lawyer who is an expert in separation law.
Even if you don’t want them to create and fill out the separation contract FOR you, some separation agreement lawyers will give you a blank separation agreement for a small fee.
You just want to make sure that you have a divorce separation agreement that can hold up in court if the divorce goes sideways.
You can then discuss the available options with your ex.
Decide together which option seems appropriate given your situations and your ability to communicate with one another.
Remember that working together is the best way to have an amicable divorce.
At first, you might struggle to agree on which option.
When all else fails, take the path with the least resistance.
Since the process is voluntary, you can adjust it accordingly.
5. Consult a Mediator, If Necessary
In mediation, you and your spouse hire a neutral third party, a mediator, to resolve the issues in your separation.
Mediation is less expensive than a series of hearings or court trials.
Since a mediator has no agenda, you’ll have a professional to assist you in keeping things cordial.
Should you choose to follow through with the divorce, you should consult with a divorce lawyer.
(A separation agreement lawyer can also be a mediator. Just ask them.)
They can help you get what you deserve, without causing issues. They will even help you run through the property settlement too.
If you and your partner are both reasonable, you’ll benefit from hiring a professional who will continue to work towards a resolution.
6. Be Prepared for Dispute Resolutions
A separation agreement is not a legal separation agreement until both parties have agreed to the conditions and signed the separation paperwork.
Separation can cause a combination of emotions that may leave you or your partner feeling down.
Think about problems that could arise during this process and create plans to resolve them.
If there are things you can do to avoid issues, consider doing them.
You can lead by example and find healthy outlets for your emotions.
Since you won’t be firing off at them, you can reduce disputes on your end.
Remember not to encourage your ex’s imagination into negative scenarios.
7. Focus on Self Care
You should use this time to focus on yourself.
Learn who you’ve become and challenge yourself to try new things.
If you gave up a passion or hobby that helped you before, consider trying it again.
The point is to allow yourself to grow and change during this process.
You’ll feel more confident as you evolve into this new version of yourself.
You’re free to do whatever you want, as long as you continue to respect your mutual separation agreement.
If Kids Are Involved
There’s no better reason to remain civil with your ex than divorcing with children.
Divorce can affect youth negatively if you’re not careful. Be open and honest with your kids, and validate their feelings.
You should work together to make this adjustment easy for your children.
The more peaceful you can keep the process, the better the outcome will be for your family.
At the end of it all, your children want you to be happy and present.
What Is a Mutual Separation Agreement
A mutual separation agreement is a written contract you and your spouse will voluntarily sign, without court.
It allows you both the time apart you need as you decide whether or not you can mend the marriage.
You don’t have to break the bank to dissolve the marriage.
There are essential tips available to help you achieve an affordable divorce.
You can use them to avoid a financial burden.
A Note for Domestic Violence Survivors
If you’re a survivor of domestic violence, it might not be safe for you to remain amicable with your ex.
Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, provoke fear, control what you do, or force you to behave in ways you don’t want.
The abuse can be physical, sexual, threats, intimidation, emotional, or economic deprivation.
The different forms of domestic violence can occur all at once within the same relationship.
There are resources available for a fresh start. You can seek therapy at group counseling or individual sessions.
End Things on Good Terms
Now that you’ve read these seven tips for a peaceful mutual separation agreement, you can achieve an amicable divorce.
Remember to treat your partner with respect and love. No matter what happens next, you’ll feel like you’ve evolved.
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