Some marriages end very badly, and it’s nearly impossible for these couples to have a harmonious divorce. No one says you have to be BFFs with your former spouse. You don’t have to communicate regularly, if at all, unless of course you have children. But it sure doesn’t hurt if you do get along, does it?
While the following tips do not guarantee an amicable relationship with your soon-to-be-ex throughout the divorce process, they can certainly help you maintain perspective and be rational about the situation you’re both experiencing. When children are involved, it is always advisable to at least attempt to have an amicable split.
In some cases, one person is in the wrong in a relationship – particularly when infidelity is a factor – but regardless of how the divorce came to pass, regardless of what contributed to the downfall of the partnership, it’s important to take responsibility for your own actions. This includes being aware of how you’re acting throughout the divorce and after. Are you combative, stubborn, secretive, passive aggressive? How you act can speak volumes and what you say can be hurtful. You were once on the same team – try to maintain some manner of sportsmanship. To continue to get along with each other, you have to want to get along and make every effort to do so.
When a marriage is ending, a couple may automatically defer to the “this is yours, this is mine” behavior, whether it comes to sharing fridge space or splitting up furniture. Try not to take matters into your own hands and do all the divvying up on your own. Try not to use post-it notes, abrupt texts, and cold emails to get your point across. And don’t stonewall your spouse and refuse to have a conversation at all, about anything. Actions like this will only alienate and upset your future ex, complicating the divorce process and making the whole situation more stressful than it needs to be. Talk to each other about every issue, question of ownership, and financial matter that arises as calmly and rationally as possible.
The go-to feeling when getting a divorce is blame. When you’re feeling down and out, wronged, or just plain sad, it’s easy to say, “You did this to me” or “This is your fault.” But divorce is stressful enough without constant bickering and finger pointing. It might make you feel good in the moment to blame the other person, and it might justify the angry or hurtful words that just rolled off your tongue. But in the long run, blame doesn’t do any good. You can guarantee that if someone in the relationship did something wrong, they’re quite aware of it without being reminded. (Whether they have remorse is another matter entirely, of course.)
Whether you call them couples therapists, marriage therapists, or divorce therapists, enlisting the help of a relationship expert or mental health professional can aid in maintaining a dignified and amicable split. No one knows instinctively how to get divorced. It’s emotional, taxing, draining, grief-inducing – having the support of an outside party will aid both of you in getting all the issues out on the table and hashing through them constructively. Likewise, a divorce mediator can help you with negotiations if you and your spouse are having a tough time agreeing on issues like the division of property, debt, and assets as well as matters like child support and parenting time.
And, of course, you can always depend on your Michigan divorce attorney to support you in your split. It’s possible to communicate with your soon-to-be ex via your attorneys if need be, though making every effort to keep the peace will benefit all parties involved. If you are in the process of contemplating divorce, contact Michigan Divorce Help in Mt. Clemens, MI, to schedule your no-cost and discuss what’s ahead.