There’s no getting away from the fact that a divorce is one of the most stressful life experiences that any person can face. Trying to navigate a divorce without hostility can be a real challenge at a time when emotions are running high.
The ‘no fault’ divorce bill, which has just been backed by MPs, could remove some of the ill feeling by allowing a divorce petition to be filed which simply indicates that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This will remove the present need to cite adultery, unreasonable behaviour or abandonment as grounds for divorce – however it hasn’t yet cleared all legal hurdles, meaning you may still find emotions running high.
The way you behave during this period can significantly impact the outcome of your divorce, adding a further layer of anxiety when so many things are still uncertain. If you need to divide assets and or agree on the custody of any children involved, the more willing you are to work with your former spouse, the easier the process will be.
Here are a few practical tips from our family law solicitors to help you navigate a divorce without further damage being done to an already delicate relationship.
Try to leave your feelings at the door
The end of a marriage can be deeply upsetting, and many people will experience a wide range of emotions and feelings of betrayal, distrust and sadness that things didn’t work out how you hoped they would when you took your vows.
Unfortunately, emotions tend to be a real roadblock when it comes to agreeing on how to move forward with the division of assets or the future residences of children, and things can often escalate to such a point that neither party wants to communicate with the other.
Before it gets to this point, try to visualise the ultimate goal you want to achieve. Although you may still be grieving the loss of your relationship, you can leave the situation without further damage to your emotional wellbeing by keeping communications flowing and remaining civil. As hard as it can be, aim to focus on the immediate practicalities and do your best to leave negative emotions firmly at the door.
Seek the help of a mediator
If things have reached crisis point and you are no longer willing to communicate with your ex-partner, mediation services act as an impartial third party to get discussions back on track. This enables the divorce process to continue without further delay.
There are plenty of options available for face-to-face meetings with a mediator in a neutral location, so this might be an option to reopen a dialogue and move things forward.
Engage legal help
The most important part of any divorce is to ensure that you have good legal representation at the very start. As soon as you have decided that a divorce is the only option, get in touch with a family law solicitor with experience dealing with divorce. They will be able to explain the process to you in more detail and give you a greater understanding of your rights when it comes to dividing up assets such as property, savings and the custody of children.
Find a solicitor that will work with you to protect your best interests while keeping hostility to a minimum as this is the key to navigating a divorce without more emotional hardship for all involved.