Benefits of an Amicable Divorce
At the wedding altar, you were so happy as you looked forward to a long, happy marriage with your spouse. Suddenly, everything changed. Your spouse came home and you could tell something was wrong.
Maybe you found out right away. Or maybe it was weeks, or months, later when your partner said the fateful word: divorce.
Probably you were angry and hurt — with good reason! You might think that the best way to get revenge is to hurt them the way they hurt you, by dragging out a nasty divorce proceeding and getting everything you can from them.
Before you take that route, though, take a breath. The truth is an amicable divorce is probably a much better option. Here’s why.
Protect Your Mental and Physical Health
Going through a divorce is the second-most stressful event you can endure in life, after the death of a spouse. Even if you didn’t want the divorce, you owe it to yourself to take the best care of yourself possible through this difficult time.
When you’re facing a divorce, you’re looking at a lot of changes. You may have to move your home. You will lose some of your possessions and possibly some of your money. You may have to change jobs or get a job if you’re not currently working. You may also have to deal with friends and family members who are affected, and those relationships may change. On top of that, you’re grieving the future you dreamed of and trying to create a new path forward.
Any one of those shifts is very difficult, but having them all happen at once is exceptionally tough. If you focus on making the divorce process hard on your ex, you will also make it hard on yourself. There’s no reason to add pressure to an already dreadful time.
A contested divorce will also wrack up a lot of legal fees, and there’s no guarantee you will get what you want. You could come out the other side even more depleted than you were before. That’s not what you want when you’re already going through an awful experience.
If you choose an amicable divorce you protect your resources, both mentally and physically.
You Need Money to Move On
Another reason to avoid the significant legal fees that come with a messy in-court divorce is that you need to preserve your cash so that you can move forward in a better way. That might mean having the money to move to a different city so you can start fresh. It might mean that you can take your time to find the job you truly want, instead of having to take the first one you find.
Having additional capital can also help with childcare expenses, taking care of yourself by planning a getaway, and much more.
It costs well over $15,000 for just one or two days in divorce court, and five days starts to get near $40,000. Save the money for your future needs rather than spending it on an expensive fight with no guaranteed outcome.
An amicable divorce costs far less money and allows you to move forward with more resources.
Contested Divorces Take a Long Time
It’s understandable that you’re angry right now, and you may want to hold your spouse back from being able to move on without you. Unfortunately, in doing that you are also holding yourself back.
A divorce may take two full years to even go to trial, and you’re paying for lawyer fees the entire time. The pandemic has made things even worse. There was already a backlog of cases and now the wait is even longer.
Two years from now you probably won’t feel the same way you do today. You won’t want to go to court and relive the difficulty of the split from your spouse as you fight for specific belongings and resources. You may have moved on — or even moved away — and returning to attend court will only be one more hassle.
Having a divorce that isn’t finalized weighs on you. You carry that burden around the entire time you’re waiting your turn in court. There’s no reason to hold yourself back. When you choose an amicable divorce, you can move forward much more quickly with less pain.
An Amicable Divorce Protects Your Kids
Your kids love both you and your spouse, and putting them in the middle of a war isn’t fair to them. They didn’t choose this outcome and making it more burdensome than it already is just makes things worse.
By keeping things civil between you and your ex, you can help your children feel safer and more secure. They won’t feel guilty for loving both of you, even though you are no longer married. Children are also less likely to feel that the divorce was their fault if it is amicable and both parents have a good relationship with them.
You may have to move to a new school district, change social activities, and make other changes that affect your children. If you go to war with your spouse during the divorce, that stress will only add to the pain that your children are experiencing.
How to Approach an Amicable Divorce
How can you approach a divorce amicably when you don’t want to get a divorce?
Generally, it takes time. You have to grieve the loss and prepare yourself to move forward in a new way. A counsellor or therapist may be helpful both during the divorce and afterward as you reorient yourself to a new way of life.
When you’re ready, you can pursue alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and a separation agreement. The costs are split equally between you and your ex. In this process, a neutral third party helps both of you work through the basic terms of the divorce and helps resolve conflict.
This resolution happens privately, not in an open courtroom. The purpose is to find a mutually agreeable resolution so that both parties can move forward with the minimum amount of conflict.
Once you agree to the terms of an amicable divorce, be sure to have your lawyer review the agreement before you sign it to ensure you didn’t overlook something important.
You Deserve a Peaceful Resolution
You may not have asked for this divorce process, but resolving it amicably is best for everyone — especially you. It will help you preserve your mental and physical health, maximize your financial resources, move through the process quickly, and protect your family and relationships.
If you need help with a divorce, Unmarry.ca is here for you. Contact us today for more information.