Having a divorce can be a mentally and emotionally exhausting process. However, there are numerous benefits to an amicable split. A more peaceful split will ensure you and your soon-to-be-ex can manage the divorce without so much fuss. So, what exactly is an amicable divorce?
What is an Amicable Divorce?
An amicable divorce is the same as a no-contest or an uncontested divorce. In as much as this might be hard to believe, such divorces exist. Ideally, an amicable divorce is a civil divorce, where both spouses agree to all the terms and conditions of spousal and child support, custody, property division, and visitation. This type of divorce does not in any way mean that the former spouses are friends after their divorce. It only means that the spouses do not fight over anything and agree on everything peacefully.
After an agreement is reached on the divorce terms, the couple has to file legal forms in the family court to obtain the divorce officially. However, most times, there is a requisite waiting or separation period. The court then approves the final divorce. All the terms agreed upon by the couple are then incorporated in their final decree.
Approaches to an amicable divorce
Couples considering an amicable divorce have various options;
1. Collaborative Divorce
A collaborative divorce is handled out of court, but both spouses retain their lawyers who help with the negotiation process. In a non-amicable divorce, which is handled in court, the judge makes the final decisions for both parties. Although most courts try to make, the spouses agree before litigation. In a collaborative divorce, however, the court is not involved, which is better for the court, the children, and everyone involved.
Here, documents are exchanged without lawyers fighting or arguing for documents in the legal process. This approach is excellent for couples who agree on things without any difficulty. It saves time and money. Moreover, lawyers facilitate all communication between the couple and continue to advise their respective clients. Generally, this type of divorce is for those couples who feel they can peacefully work out their divorce issues and settlement themselves but still need legal representation. Lawyers in charge of collaborative divorces are professionally trained to reach an agreeable win-win settlement instead of win-lose. So both parties are assured of being fairly represented.
2. Mediation Divorce
With the option of mediation, couples resolve their divorce issues out of court with a mediator’s help. In this case, the mediator helps the soon-to-be-divorced couple come up to an amicable agreement on the divorce issues. Ideally, this type of divorce is all about the couple deciding what is best for them and their children with a mediator’s help. The main issues covered include property distribution, child custody and parenting time, child support, retirement, and taxes.
Besides being cost-effective, mediation is also very flexible and confidential. It gives both spouses a way to settle their conflict in a mature way. This is essential if children are involved in the marriage. Mediation can make the couple communicate well for their children’s sake and make their post-divorce relationship work well. The process is entirely voluntary and could take as much time as the couple needs until they decide everything.
3. Do It Yourself (DIY) Divorce
A Do It Yourself (DIY) divorce process works well only if both parties agree to all custody issues, property division and support schedules. This type of divorce does not require a couple to have counsel; they can file papers and seek approval from the court without lawyers. There are forms available online for most courts or at the clerk’s office for couples who have decided to go down this road.
In as much a DIY divorce might seem simple, fast, and cost-effective, it has so many downsides. For instance, the division of property is final, and no changes can be made afterward. Most times, one spouse may not be aware of all the other spouse’s assets, and thus may be left out in the division process. It is for this reason why spouses should involve lawyers to do all the digging for them. Couples who take this path take a severe risk. At a minimum, before settling for a divorce, the couple should meet with an attorney and be advised on the law.
4. Therapist Counseling
Therapist counseling is beneficial to a couple, even after they decide to divorce. Therapists can help facilitate an amicable agreement during the divorce process. They come in handy in helping the couple overcome any heated emotions, stress, and anxiety to focus entirely on completing the legal process.
If a couple decides to go to therapy together, they can work on anything they want to resolve. Moreover, they can utilize the therapist to act as some kind of mediator to help them set guidelines to ensure minimal emotional damage and hostility. The therapist can also help solve other issues like financial obligations, parenting responsibilities, and living arrangements before proceeding to a lawyer.
Regardless of the approach taken, when a divorcing couple commits to developing compromises and solutions that work for both of them, rather than fighting, the legal process runs very smoothly. In the end, both parties can move on more quickly with less pain, time, and effort. A perfect divorce has to involve a professional lawyer; this way, both parties are sure of winning in the divorce as they will approach your case with all considerations and facts and proceed in your best interests.