What’s the best way to get an amicable divorce?

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As part of our free family law advice hub, we’re here to help you by offering tips and advice in relation to common questions.

In this article, we look at 6 ways you can get an amicable divorce.

Tip 1: Always remember that divorce is tough on everyone in the family – you, your ex, the children and other family members. Even for the one who initiated the divorce it will be difficult as there will be unexpected repercussions they didn’t envisage. Be kind and retain your dignity.  It’s the key to getting through it better and with your self respect intact.

Tip 2: Consider mediation. It’s much cheaper than legal advice and is definitely worth trying. Legal aid is available for family mediation cases to help families agree arrangements where:

  • You need help to sort out financial arrangements;
  • Child arrangements have broken down and you’re not seeing your children;
  • Disputes between you are heading towards court.

You may be eligible for legal aid for mediation if you:

  • Receive Income Support, Universal Credit, income based JSA, income based ESA, Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Live on your own and your household income is less than £1,000 per calendar month.
  • Have a household income less than £1,400 per calendar month, and you live with a partner and/or dependent children

If you’re interested check out the National Family Mediation website here

Tip 3: Decide which aspects of the divorce, if any, you want lawyers to be involved in. You can negotiate using the free mediation service run by the Legal Aid Board, or by doing it yourselves if you can. This will keep legal costs and lawyers interference down. Remember if lawyers get involved in the negotiations it will not only become expensive, but probably more contentious too. After all, legal representatives are paid fight for their clients. Do you really want a fight?  It’s definitely better to think of it as seeking a fair outcome for you both. Then, when you have an agreement, that’s the time to go to a lawyer, if you can afford one. Their job will be to make the agreement legally binding.

Tip 4: Work out your long-term goal. What’s most important to you? Then you can choose your battles. Don’t fight for all you can get or what you have been told to expect, work out what you really want and how it will affect the relationship with your ex-partner for the rest of your lives. Remember if you have children your ex is likely to be part of your life come what may.

Tip 5: Write, don’t speak, if negotiations go off course. There will be arguments of course and in these most difficult times communicate by email. It gives you both time and space to say what you really mean and want.

Tip 6: Mobilise any support network you have and ask them to be reasonable and not take sides, tempting though that is. That way you don’t lose half your support. At some point you’ll need help and it’s best to have a wide circle of supportive family and friends.

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Whatever personal family matter you are dealing with, keeping records can make all the difference.