Are you wondering how to have an amicable divorce?
Maybe it’s for the kids (or your sanity).
Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who CAN have an amicable divorce with your spouse.
Maybe you want to save thousands of dollars in divorce fees (can’t blame you).
Whatever the reason, this blog is going to cover the best way to divorce amicably so that the divorce process is smooth and easy.
Let’s get to it.
What is an Amicable Divorce?
What does is even mean to have an amicable divorce?
When you think of a divorce, you probably think of battling with your spouse, dragging the divorce out, losing all of your assets, and spending $25,000 in divorce lawyer fees.
While that CAN be the case, it doesn’t have to be.
There are steps to turn a non amicable divorce around. (Or to plan ahead so that your divorce turns out amicable.)
But it’s a team effort. Even though you’re going through divorce, remember that you and your spouse are on the same team.
Meaning, you can cost each other tens of thousands of dollars and headaches for years, or you can just work together and get it over with as cheaply and easily as possible.
Check out our amicable separation agreement – FREE to download. No strings attached.
Keeping Your Divorce Amicable
Court battles, losing thousands of dollars, and custody battles may be the norm.
But your divorce doesn’t have to be that way.
No matter how angry you and your spouse are at each other, agreeing to work together will go a long way.
This is especially true if you’re divorcing with children.
So, let’s look at five ways to turn a potentially non amicable divorce around.
5 Steps To Have An Amicable Divorce
You don’t get a divorce because you’re happily married (unless you’re just weird).
You or your spouse did something that triggered the thoughts of divorce that have festered over time.
1. Make the decision to get a divorce WITHOUT blame.
I know this is going to be hard. Emotions are high, no one wants to take responsibility, and you BOTH feel wronged.
It’s normal to feel this way. There’s nothing wrong with it.
But blaming each other isn’t going to make things any better. (It might make you feel better in the moment, though.)
Sometimes, people just drift apart – it’s not EITHER one of your’s fault.
It can be because of your career, making too much time for the kids, and making too little time for yourselves.
Whatever the reason, blaming each other won’t make this ANY easy on your family.
In fact, blaming each other leads to resentment. This resentment builds up and divorces get messy.
We’ve seen it thousands of times. It never ends well.
2. Focus on the big picture.
Even though your divorce feels like the biggest life obstacle you’ve come up against, it’s not THAT big of a deal.
No, I’m not belittling the seriousness of your divorce, your feelings, or what you’re going through.
What I mean is that you’re going to move on. You’re going to find someone better suited for you. You’re going to be just fine. Life will chug along and turn out for the better.
So, just focus on having a fair divorce, minimizing the cost of your divorce, and moving on.
Don’t sit there and drag out the divorce over small, stupid stuff.
Chances are that you and your spouse will BOTH be stubborn during the divorce. This approach will drag the divorce out for years.
You might think, “Pffff it won’t take years!” Trust me, it can.
If you want to speed things along and have an amicable divorce, you’ll have to pick your battles with your spouse.
Honestly, it’s a good idea to sit down separately and chose the top 3 things that are most important to you during the divorce.
Think of this like your goals for the divorce. This will keep you both on track during the negotiations in the divorce.
And when things start to get heated, you can reference the goal sheet you each have and remind yourself whether or not what you are arguing about is even important to you.
This will help you just let things go that are unimportant.
Like, if you want to make sure that you get the kids every 4th of July because your family takes a vacation every year to the beach, then don’t spend a month arguing about whether or not your husband should sell the $2,000 fishing boat and give you half the money.
Again, think about the big picture.
You’re never going to ‘win’ a divorce, but focusing on what you both REALLY want and figuring out how each of you can get that will make your divorce much easier.
(And yes, that means helping your spouse get what they want too.)
3. Put the kiddos first.
You might be thinking something along the lines of, “I’ll try to get full custody of the kids to get back at my spouse.”
And, in some instances, this IS what’s best for the kids.
But make sure that you’re making decisions that are best suited for the kiddos. Their lives are going to be hectic enough without you guys making their lives harder.
And dragging them into a battle with custody lawyers will not be ideal.
Only your family knows what’s best for the kids. Not me, not your parents, not your spouses parents, etc. You want to have a amicable divorce with children.
4. Don’t attempt to take everything.
Some people feel like they deserve A LOT more than 50% of the assets they owned with their spouse.
And sometimes, that’s definitely true. Other times, people want to take as much as they can because they are hurt and angry and want to get back at their spouse.
Negotiating fairly with your spouse is the best way to reduce the costs of your divorce. This approach makes your divorce more affordable.
Start by printing off a mutual separation agreement and work through it with your spouse.
You’ll pay less in attorney fees and court costs (and probably therapy too). An amicable divorce costs are SIGNIFICANTLY less than a contested divorce.
We see it all the time.
People try to hide money and assets from their spouse to avoid giving up all of that money.
You’re going to make your divorce VERY messy if the things you’re hiding come to light.
But being upfront and honest about everything that you own will make the divorce much easier. Yes, this means your “run away savings account,” too.
Some common financial items are the tax breaks that you get, debts (I know you don’t care to share that load), bank accounts, etc.
As hard as it can be, set your differences aside and work with each other if you want to have an amicable divorce.
5. Work together on your settlement agreement.
Do you REALLY want to sit down and negotiate with your spouse on who gets what?
Of course not.
But printing a settlement agreement and working through that with them BEFORE you see an attorney is going to be the best route.
You don’t want the attorneys hashing it out. This can add thousands of dollars to your attorney bill on each side.
If you happen to have a prenup, prenup alimony, or any other documents that make divorce a little easier, bring those with you to the attorney’s office.
It also adds hostility to the mix. Imagine when you try to talk to your spouse and they brush you off and tell you, “the lawyers will hash it out.”
Feels friendly, right?
And don’t be fooled by an “Amicable Divorce Lawyer.” They are not amicable. Divorce attorneys are there to protect their clients and get them the best possible outcome.
Sometimes, that’s not always a fair outcome for both parties – just one. When you call the big guns in, it’s going to turn into a non amicable divorce really quick.
Amicable Divorce Online
If you’re trying to have an amicable divorce, really, kudos. You and your spouse being able to work together puts you in a league of your own.
Most people resort to hiring attorneys and attorneys love this haha.
But we wanted to provide people who don’t REALLY need a divorce lawyer to be able to perform an amicable divorce on their own without the ‘help’ of a amicable divorce attorney.
We have a growing library of amicable divorce papers and worksheets that will walk you through the amicable divorce process super easily.