How to Have an Amicable Divorce

by Helmer, Paul, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

Just because a couple is divorcing is no reason that they can’t remain friends. After all, you’ve put years of your lives into each other; you didn’t work out as a couple, but you can still honor the relationship you had and the importance it had in your lives, even as you grow apart and change. Besides, divorce litigation is expensive and painful; even if you can’t manage to be friends, at least being civil will save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours.

The first step is to talk to a New Jersey divorce attorney. Make sure that you understand your rights within the legal system. Emphasize to your New Jersey divorce attorney the importance of an amicable divorce to you: you’re not out to “stick it to” your soon-to-be-former spouse, you want to resolve this relationship in the most civilized manner possible. Make sure you hire the right New Jersey divorce attorney to represent you: you want one with years of experience who knows the judges in the county, so your lawyer will have a better idea of how a particular judge thinks and will rule.

Nail down all details in writing. If you agree on something, you won’t have as much to argue about afterward. Make sure to both sign and date the document. Agree with your spouse when they’re actually right; they may become more inclined to compromise on other issues. If, against your best hopes, the relationship is getting acrimonious, be assertive and explain your needs to your partner and your New Jersey divorce attorney. However, be realistic. Try to meet with your spouse in neutral locations, if the relationship has deteriorated—not the home you lived in together (painful memories) or either of your new homes (painful speculations).

Consider the best interests of your children above all: they didn’t cause the divorce and it’s not fair to hurt them in the process. Be considerate and patient and consider checking out a book for parents who have just been divorced; there are many picture books you can read with your small children. Don’t disparage your spouse to your children, but help them maintain a relationship with both their parents. Be sure to coordinate with your spouse about issues of raising your child and child custody in New Jersey.

The most important factor in recovering from a divorce, though, is developing your new life. Set goals for yourself. What did you want to do with your life that you might not have been able to pursue because of your marriage? Avoid broadcasting new loves—whether serious or not — to your partner: that’s not moving on. Take care of yourself: eat right, exercise, get enough sleep and take some time for yourself every day. The healthier you are, the more rational you’ll be with your ex. Use your friends for moral support, but don’t keep rehashing your divorce. Instead, cultivate new friends and new topics of conversation. In no time, your divorce will be a memory: only as painful as it had to be.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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Helmer, Paul, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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