Somewhere between 42-45% of all married couples end up getting a divorce.
If you’re currently in this situation, we understand that it’s a tense, difficult, and emotional time.
You sometimes struggle to control your feelings. You alternate between blaming yourself and blaming your spouse.
You’re exhausted, stressed about the future, and even worried about what other people will say.
But the truth is that you want to have an amicable divorce.
It’s hard enough already. Why make it tougher by fighting even more than you did when you were married?
Read on to learn more about how to have an amicable divorce.
Be Flexible When It Comes to Your Living Situation
We get it.
Now that the “I want a divorce” conversation has happened, you’re ready to get out of the house you shared as soon as is possible.
But the truth of the matter is that you may still need to live together for a while. After all, finding a new home or apartment, getting the house ready to sell, or even telling any kids you have takes time.
It’s not always going to be an immediate move.
To that end, do everything in your power to be as flexible as your sanity will allow.
Make rules about who gets to stay in your home when, and for how long. If you can, help your ex to find a new space. Talk about your policy on bringing guests over.
Figure out what the best thing is when it comes to the location of a new home for one of you. If you have children, you may need to keep them somewhat close by.
If you don’t, you can move as far away from your ex as you feel comfortable with.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Space
Divorce — and the emotions surrounding it — are rarely cut and dry.
You may have moments where you want to test, email, and call your ex. They might do the same to you.
Especially if, as we spoke about above, you need to live in the same house for a while, it’s ok to ask for space.
You don’t have to respond to every text immediately. You don’t have the same obligations that you once did to your partner.
You should take this time to go out with friends and invest in rebuilding those relationships. If possible, you might even consider traveling. If you can, take some time off work and go away for just yourself for a few days.
It doesn’t have to be a jet-setting around the world vacation. Even heading to a nearby resort town or spay for a couple of days can be enough.
Above all, remember that the key to an amicable divorce is to set clear and firm boundaries as soon as you can. This way, you and your partner can start learning how to function without one another.
Even though taking space is hard, it’s something you just have to do for yourself.
Resist the Temptation to Be Petty
Especially if you and your ex aren’t exactly divorcing under the best circumstances, it’s easy to give into the desire to be petty.
Those shoes they love so much? You’d like nothing more than to throw them out the window. Calling their boss and telling them that your ex has been cheating on you for the past year? Sometimes, you feel like that would be amazing.
It’s normal — healthy, even — to feel a roller coaster of emotions while you’re going through a divorce process.
What’s important, though, is that you keep your actions under control.
After all, the hard truth is that “revenge” won’t put your marriage back together. It won’t really make you feel better in the long run, either.
Remember that you once had an amazing amount of love and respect for this person. Perhaps you still do. Don’t dishonor what you had by acting out. Plus, being petty doesn’t exactly reflect well on you. And if you have kids? You don’t want them to have to see that.
Keep it classy. If you feel like you can’t?
The best thing for you to do is to remove yourself from the situation as soon as is possible. Rising above the drama — and your ex’s pettiness — won’t always feel good in the moment.
But in the long run, it absolutely will.
Lawyer up — Even If You Don’t Want To
It might sound counter-intuitive at first, but if you want to learn how to divorce amicably, you should learn more about getting a lawyer.
You need to know your rights, talk about the potential issues you could face, and even protect yourself. This will help you to keep your cool — because you know the consequences if you don’t.
Especially if you caught your spouse cheating (or vice versa) getting legal representation ASAP will help you to make some tough choices. And trust us when we tell you, your ex is likely lawyering up, too.
Even if you don’t hire a lawyer right away, you could both benefit from a mediation session.
This will help you and your spouse hammer out details like finances, potential custody agreements, housing, and much more.
You might even want to meet with a tax consultant to learn about how your status will change.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get a great therapist as you navigate through the divorce process.
This can be an individual therapist, or one you and your soon-to-be-ex see together.
Perhaps you’re interested in discernment counseling, which can help you and your spouse decide whether or not divorce truly is the right option for you. Perhaps you want to work with a counselor who will act as a kind of mediator.
This way, you’ll have an impartial third party that can teach you how to have an amicable divorce. It will also allow you both to express emotions and negotiate your separate lives in a space safe.
Individual therapy is essential as well, of course.
You can learn healthy coping mechanisms. Especially if you’ve been together for a while, you may also need to “rediscover” yourself and who you are outside of marriage.
If you know you’re capable, self-reliant, and have your own life?
You’ll be much less likely to trash talk or resent your spouse. Instead, you can focus on building your own awesome future!
Keep It Private
This is a big one.
Of course, when you’re going through a divorce, you need to rely on the support and even advice from family and friends. You may even need to occasionally vent, cry, or just get away from the house and have some fun.
And while some situations — like expressing your sadness at the loss of the future — are fine to talk about with friends?
Bashing your ex, talking about how much money they want to “steal away” from you, or constantly making fun of them to mutual friends won’t win you any points.
The same goes with making disrespectful, petty, or even aggressive social media posts. Don’t do it.
It’s also disrespectful of their privacy. And trust us when we tell you that, especially if what you’re saying is super personal or even untrue?
Your words will get back to your ex. Plus, the truth is that your friends are eventually going to get tired of hearing you say the same things over and over again.
In some cases, this might completely change the terms or the nature of your divorce and/or separation.
If you want a peaceful divorce, get real with yourself — and even your ex — about what topics of conversation are off-limits.
Especially if children are in the mix, you don’t want to be the bad guy.
Have an Amicable Divorce with These Tips
We hope that you’ve found this discussion on how to divorce peacefully helpful.
It’s admirable that, even though you’re both in a seriously tough and emotional situation, you still want to keep things civil. Keep a calm perspective, and practice self-care.
Having an amicable divorce is possible.
Above all, don’t do or say anything to your ex that you wouldn’t want them to do to you.
Looking for more relationship advice?
Ready to understand how you’ll navigate your post-divorce life? No matter whether you’re ready to start dating or if you feel like you’ll never get over your ex, we’re here to help you.
Rely on us for more tips and tricks about moving on from your relationship — and thriving on your own.