The end of a marriage or relationship is hard. Anyone that has been through it will confirm how difficult it is on so may levels. How you end the relationship is however your choice. It can either end with conflict, or with respect and dignity. It is up to you.
Here are our tips for how to have a better divorce:
Be prepared to compromise.
Compromise does not mean giving in or giving up or going without. Compromise means giving up ground to gain ground.
Compromise is the ability to identify the outcome you need to be financially independent, as opposed to seeking what you want or think you deserve. It requires you to be aware of what you would be prepared to give up to achieve your objective.
Compromise requires you look at the bigger picture and take the emotion out of negotiations.
Always start each negotiation with an issue that you both agree on. It may be a small matter such as who gets an item of furniture or piece of art, or a large financial issue such as who will live in the house. Either way, your goals are the same and this will build trust and open communication for the more difficult choices ahead.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
When you are arguing about detail, a good question to ask yourself is:
Will it make any difference in 5 years’ time if I “win” this particular point?
If the answer is “no” – let it go.
Listen to your spouse’s/partner’s concerns. Whilst you don’t have to agree with your spouse’s point of view, listening to them can help you figure out what is really important to him or her.
You are more likely to see your spouse act with the same good faith toward you if your spouse feels that he or she is being heard.
Be pleasant and polite.
You can make a conscious effort to refrain from entering a battle. Conflict can be greatly reduced by simply being pleasant and polite to each other.
Do not take it personally.
Do not take the breakdown of the romantic relationship personally. It is simply a life change that you have decided to navigate together. Accept the change and recognise it as part and parcel of the experience of life.
Ask your spouse’s opinion about the children.
Put the needs of the children first, and work together. It’s easier than doing it alone!
Recognise where each of you parent most effectively and work together to use those strengths to raise and care for your children.
Use time-outs to avoid blow-ups.
Extended arguments increase the likelihood of frustration and conflict. Take a mental or physical time-out when conversations become too intense.
Accept your spouse’s limitations.
What drove you nuts when you were married isn’t likely to change. Don’t try to “fix” him/her.
Concentrate on the future, not the past.
Stop ruminating about the past (good and the bad). Instead, identify the outcomes you would both like to achieve.
Value each other’s unique strengths.
Recognise and acknowledge areas where your spouse shines and capitalise on those areas.
Take good financial advice.
Making good decisions requires getting good advice from the right people. Think about speaking to Accountants and Financial Advisers, all of whom have a role to play.
Look after yourself during the divorce/separation.
Divorce and separation are always tough. When you have the added anxieties about job and wealth prospects within a recession then the problem is compounded.
Consider getting a divorce coach. It is helpful to be clear on which matters can be resolved through the legal process and which are not.
A therapist will be able to help you acknowledge and deal with any emotional issues you are going through.
Also, eat a healthy diet and continue to exercise.