How to have an amicable divorce

The marriage and divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana have been back in the news recently, with the broadcast of a revealing documentary by Channel 4. There may not be a lot that we can learn from their experiences directly, but there is certainly at least one lesson: if you can, make sure that your divorce is amicable, or at least as amicable as possible. This will reduce the cost of the divorce, along with the stress for all involved, including any children.

There is no panacea that will guarantee an amicable divorce, but the following points may help:

• Blame-free divorce: If possible, the divorce proceedings should be issued without attributing blame for the marriage breakdown on either party. If you do have to attribute blame (because you have not yet been separated for two years), then try to agree allegations with the other party, before issuing divorce proceedings.

• A constructive, non-confrontational approach: In your dealings with the other party, you should try to adopt a constructive, non-confrontational approach. This will reduce conflict, and increase the chances of matters being resolved by agreement, without the need for contested court proceedings.

• Consider mediation: Rather than go through contested court proceedings, consider trying to resolve matters through mediation. A mediator will seek to reduce conflict and help the parties to reach agreement on all issues surrounding divorce.

• Put the children first: If you have dependent children, then you must concentrate on what is best for them, not what is best for you. Remember, you will still have to deal with the other party after the divorce, at least until the children grow up. The children will benefit enormously if their parents remain on good terms.

• Keep it private: Don’t copy Diana – washing your dirty linen in public can be a sure way to antagonise the other party. And it’s not just a question of keeping it out of the media. Telling friends and family that the breakdown of the marriage was all the fault of the other party is not a good idea.

As we said, there is no guarantee of an amicable divorce, and it obviously requires the cooperation of both parties. However, taking the above steps will greatly enhance the chances of a quicker, cheaper, and less stressful divorce.

Family Law Cafe can help you to divorce amicably, by offering a modern, agile and compassionate approach to family law, giving you a helping hand when you need it and guiding you through the complexities of this complex and stressful area.

Image of Charles and Diana stamp by John Flannery, licensed under CC BY 2.0.