Whether you initiated the split or were completely caught off guard, divorce is never easy. If you would like to speak with specialist divorce solicitors in the Cardiff area then please contact our team today.
Powerful emotions often cloud divorce proceedings.
Sometimes, this can cause you to lose sight of what you want from your divorce, such as the respect of your children.
It is important to follow the right divorce advice.
Our experts have created a list of twelve ‘top tips’ to make the proceedings as painless as possible.
Expert advice for an amicable divorce
Think about mediation
If you want to end your marriage amicably, mediation is often the best course.
In mediation, two parties work together, with the help of a neutral facilitator, to settle matters outside of court.
The goal of the process is for you and your ex-partner to work through the situation in a personalised, efficient, and cost-effective manner.
However, if mediation is not an option, there are other alternatives.
Consider a collaborative divorce
Sometimes you may want a little more protection than what mediation offers, but still, wish to be cooperative.
In collaborative divorce, you will each be represented by a solicitor, but they aim to work together towards a friendly resolution.
This is often a more united and less expensive process. All parties must agree to resolve the case without going to court.
Prioritise your children
You will always be parents to your children, regardless if you are married or divorced.
Decisions relating to the children’s future, such as where they will live and the amount of time they will spend with each parent, must be made in their best interests.
Creating tension early on in your co-parenting journey can negatively impact your family for years to come.
Aim to keep the relationship amicable, be respectful, and remember the potential impact any actions you make today can have on your children in the future.
Don’t see divorce as a fight
A lot of people start their divorce hoping to “beat” their ex-partner in court. There’s seldom a true winner in any divorce.
This approach, where divorce is viewed as a boxing arena and each person must come out fighting, is not helpful.
The typical divorce involves child custody and the division of property. It is rare for separating spouses to end up with everything they want.
Know exactly what you want
Having a clear idea of your ‘must haves’ and your ‘negotiables’ will help you stay focused.
A desire to take your ex-partner ‘to the cleaners’ may result in a divorce that leaves you feeling resentful and unable to move forward.
Realistic expectations, compromise, and prioritising key areas that are truly important to you will result in a cleaner, smoother, and less painful divorce.
Therefore, being aware of exactly what you both have is important.
A great practical step would be to document items from your home that have sentimental value, and take pictures of special items for your records.
Choose the right lawyer
During a divorce, your solicitor will give you advice, speak up for you, negotiate on your behalf, and sometimes listen to painful personal details.
Therefore, it is essential that you find the right person, who you feel comfortable around and trust.
To find someone who is right for you, speak to multiple candidates and make the decision slowly.
Our specialist divorce solicitors, Cardiff-based ‘First Line Family Law’ could be the right fit for you.
Get your finances organized
Divorce involves scrutiny of all of your finances.
Organising your financial records, such as tax returns and bank statements, will be very useful to ensure the divorce process runs smoothly.
Things to consider might include:
- Outgoings once you separate
- The cost of appropriate housing
- What can you borrow for a mortgage?
- Joint assets you both have
- Any debts you or you ex-partner may owe
- Your income
Don’t make important decisions without thinking them through
Many life-changing decisions come up during a divorce. For example, you may have to determine whether you need to sell the family home or who gets custody of the children.
Resist the impulse to make a quick decision just to get the case over with.
When making important choices, you must consider the potential consequences.
Be sure to confer with your legal team as much as possible so you have a clear picture of the potential impact of any decisions.
We recommend keeping everything organized in one place, digitally or on paper.
A divorce produces a lot of paperwork, and there are lots of dates and appointments to keep track of, such as meetings with your lawyer, court deadlines, and visitation dates with children.
Consider putting documents in chronological order with an index or creating individual files for each ‘category’. For example, correspondence with your lawyer, drafts of agreements, and financial information.
A divorce calendar may be a very useful tool.
Some couples use a divorce calendar as evidence of participation in their children’s lives, or to prove a spouse didn’t keep an appointment or violated an agreement or court order.
Do your research
It is valuable for you to learn everything you can about divorce so you can raise your comfort level and your odds of success.
By researching and familiarising yourself with the process, you can prepare mentally and physically for what is going to happen.
We are here to answer any questions you may have, contact our specialist divorce solicitors at First Line Family law Cardiff.
Some great free resources include:
A Survival Guide to Divorce or the Dissolution of a Civil Partnership – Free Download
Civil Legal Advice – Civil Legal Advice (CLA) is a free and confidential advice service in England and Wales paid for by legal aid.
www.lawandparents.co.uk – this site offers a comprehensive information source for parents wishing to learn about their legal responsibilities and their rights in relation to their children.
www.drw.org.uk – The Divorce Recovery Workshop is a self-help course that helps people deal with emotional upheaval.
The workshop can help you to cope with your situation, provide support from others in the same situation and help you to adjust to your new status.
Separating from a partner is hard and often compared to bereavement.
Don’t deal with divorce alone, talk to friends and family (but not your children) who can help you process your difficult emotions.
Building a support network can help ensure you make it through the divorce process as positive as possible.
If you don’t feel able to talk to those close to you about such personal issues or if you need more help then consider counseling.
Talk to your spouse – if you can
You don’t have to like your ex-partner.
But the more you can talk and refine your deal, the quicker, cheaper, and easier your divorce will ultimately be.
Understandably, this may not be possible in all instances such as where abuse or violence has occurred.