How to divorce

If you want to know how to get through a divorce amicably, we suggest you read our divorce tips below. Applying our divorce tips will help you to achieve an amicable divorce or separation for you and your family, which we know can be tricky if you don’t have the right tools.

There are three parts to a divorce if you have children and two if you don't:

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Childcare arrangements

6 tips on how to achieve an amicable divorce

1. Your separation or divorce will be slower if you rush your partner

If you want to know how to separate amicably, this is the most crucial of all the steps and the most often ignored. At the start of the divorce process, you and your partner are likely to be in different emotional places. Our diagram shows the journey people go through when a major life change happens. The person who started thinking of divorce first is usually ahead on this path. This means they have had more time to get used to the idea of separating and have started considering alternatives and solutions.

The person who didn’t make the initial decision to divorce is in a different place. They are still feeling raw emotions like shock, denial and anger. In this state, they will find it impossible to make agreements. The more the instigator gets impatient, the more their partner digs their heels in and things grind to a halt.

Your separation will therefore be slower if you rush the other person. If you are in this position don’t apply pressure but either allow time for your partner to catch up. Or if possible look at other options such as professional coaching or counselling support to help with the ‘grieving and moving on’ process.

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2. Negotiate from a position of knowledge not emotion

Regardless of whether you want an amicable divorce, and are trying to negotiate directly with your partner, going to mediation or preparing for court; you need to understand some basic information on the law. If you both start off understanding this and your expectations are realistic, you will have every chance of negotiating your own settlement without a damaging and expensive legal process. The law doesn’t care who’s in the wrong. What’s important to you, and what’s important to the law are often different things. The law needs to know the ‘facts’ for the marriage breakdown and you will have to document these. However only in very exceptional circumstances does this affect the financial settlements. Examples are one person physically hurting the other or selling assets to avoid their partner getting them.

The legal starting point for dividing assets is 50/50. This is then adjusted by taking into account all of the points below. In most cases, neither of you will be able to go on enjoying the same standard of living as you did during the marriage. It’s rare that assets and income stretch that far. This is an important point to get your head around and can often come as a shock. The law will try as far as possible to create a clean break between you and your partner, allowing you to move on independently. A clean break does not end your responsibilities for your child(ren) however.

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CHILDREN’S WELFARE

The law always seeks to ensure a home can be provided for any children and child maintenance is in place.

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EARNING ABILITY

For example, if one of you has stayed at home to raise children your earning capacity will be reduced.

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FINANCIAL NEEDS

The law puts both partners having suitable housing as a priority. This may mean an uneven split of assets or more maintenance is paid.

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CONTRIBUTION MADE

The law considers financial contributions made and time spent looking after the family. Then adjusts settlements to make things fair. Less financial contribution doesn’t always mean less of the asset.

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MARRIAGE LENGTH

The shorter the marriage the less likely you will share money and property equally. This is especially true of things you brought into the marriage. The welfare of any children still takes priority though.

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AGE & HEALTH

Pensions become more important the nearer retirement age you are. Age and long-term ill health may affect your earning capacity and housing needs.

3. Create a timeframe with your partner and stick to it

One of the biggest causes of escalating costs in divorce is the process taking much longer than expected. If you’ve never divorced before, it’s unlikely you will have much idea of the timetable for a divorce. First of all it’s hard to predict how long it will take to make agreements with your partner.

Our divorce coaches often tell us that the longer a divorce goes on the harder it becomes to reach an agreement. The person who asked for the divorce gets frustrated and angry, their ex is left feeling bullied and confused. It’s really important to try and control these strong emotions as they can very quickly derail an otherwise amicable process.

We’ve designed an outline plan covering the different emotional, practical and legal tasks you need to complete to divorce. You can then add your own personal timeframe to it. A good way to stay in control is to agree timeframes. They help keep the momentum and most of all get things sorted.

We’ve also written a helpful guide on how long divorce takes, including our top tips to help you speed up the process.

4. You need to know what you've got in order to divide it

f you want to separate amicably, it’s important to ensure that splitting your finances is as smooth as possible. In order to agree on a financial settlement, you will need to list and agree with the value of all the items you own. You also need to provide any financial commitments you each have. You can do this yourself as long as you include everything. However, if you need any help, book in a free 15-minute advice call with us, to speak to one of our divorce experts. It’s a good idea to include copies of payslips and bank statements to make information clear and transparent.

If you or your partner don’t do this voluntarily and can’t agree on a split the court will order you to fill in a long and complicated document known as a Form E.

Another top tip to help you have an amicable divorce is to be aware that the transfer value of your pension can take up to three months to arrive. Therefore, send off for this information – even if you don’t yet know what you will do with it – as soon as possible.

5. Don't rush off to a solicitor

There are many ways to divorce amicably – and different processes suit different people. But we believe most people can and should do much of their divorce themselves. It is expensive to hire a solicitor, furthermore, it creates a dependence that won’t help you in the future. Learn how to communicate with your ex – don’t delegate.

There is a difference between legal information – like this page, and legal advice – information personalised to you. It’s more cost-effective to seek legal information first (it’s often free) and give yourselves chance to work things out.

The way our legal system works means a solicitor will tell you what’s best for you as an individual and not the family as a whole. Hearing what’s best for ‘you’ can lead to unrealistic expectations and fixed views. When this happens many people find themselves having to start a court process to deliver a decision, but then requires a further legal battle to implement the decision. For more information on this, read six ways of getting a divorce without a lawyer in UK.

Don't rush off to a solicitor

6. Divorce is about the future, not the past – focus on your future apart

In order to separate amicably, change the conversation from ‘how do we split our stuff’ to ‘what do we need to do to be happy in future’. Or if you have kids, ‘what we need to do to ensure our kids are happy’, because this can help to focus you on what’s truly important. Don’t spend your time, energy or money arguing over the past.

Our divorce coaches have met enough couples to be certain of one thing – you will never agree. Instead, see sorting out separation as a way to establish what kind of co-parenting relationship you want for the future.

As you sort out your arrangements, start to think of your partner not as your ex, but as your fellow co-parent. This will probably be the only relationship you have with them and so it’s important to think about how it will work. Parenting and co-parenting are different things and require different skills. There are some brilliant courses around these days that teach co-parenting skills so plan one in and start to be more effective.

amicable offer co-parenting coaching and have developed a brand new co-parenting app to help you to co-parent after separation.

Summary

When you prepare, you feel happier and more confident about the way forward. This knowledge helps you manage fear, uncertainty, and emotions. As a result, you limit the damage to you, your partner and most importantly, your kids. Finally, it gives you back control at a time when you need it most.

We hope you find these divorce tips useful and help you to get through your divorce or separation amicably for more information please contact us.

Where can I find help?

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The amicable® co-parenting app is the only app on the market that includes human support combined with beautifully designed tools. Created to help you manage all aspects of co-parenting in one secure place, making parenting after divorce and separation simpler.

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