Deciding on the D-word or, you know--divorce, with your spouse is never an easy conclusion. Chances are, you've gone through or at least weighed your options with counseling, exhausted much of your options as far as salvaging your marriage, and finally came to the realization that a divorce is what is best all around. The good news (because yes, there is something a silver lining here) is that if you can divorce amicably, it may make things much easier and smoother for you, your spouse, and your children, too.
You have every right to ask yourself, "What is an amicable divorce?" At first glance, it sounds like, in the simplest terms, a divorce settled in a civil, non-confrontational way. And that's true enough, but there are more components to an amicable divorce between two people.
For starters, an amicable divorce is about settling things in an even way, as equal as possible. It also entails making use of a mediator as opposed to resorting to court right away. Basically, if you can have an amicable divorce, it is best all around to do so. But if that isn't enough to convince you, then consider the following reasons why you should handle your divorce amicably.
15 For the Kids
Embarking on a divorce is hard enough without having kids involved. But when you do have kids with your spouse and see divorce as the only option in your relationship, it is always important to consider how this separation will affect your children. If you can divorce amicably, it can lighten the weight of the divorce itself on your children and make this period that much easier for them.
14 For Your Future Relationships
While divorce may negatively influence kids' views of marriage in the future, it's also important to consider your future relationships after your marriage is over. The harder and harsher your divorce progresses, the harder it will be to embark on a healthy relationship later on. You will likely be feeling jaded for a good while after, unable to get into a new relationship for some time.
13 So You Don't Leave Things Badly
No one likes to leave a relationship on negative terms, be it a friendship or something as serious as a marriage. Being able to divorce amicably means leaving things on good, civil terms with your spouse. The opposite option would be to allow things to end badly, making the divorce proceedings awful for you every step of the way.
12 It Will Make the Process Go More Smoothly
An amicable divorce is when both parties can agree to terms involving custody of any children involved, child support costs, and the division of any property the couple owned together. Being able to divorce amicably means being able to go through the proceedings without any real hiccups because you more easily agree on your divorce terms.
11 Your Friends Won't Have to Choose
While embarking on an amicable divorce doesn't necessarily mean the couple in question become fast friends directly following the proceedings, but it does make it much more possible for the couple's friends to not have to choose sides. In typical divorce settings, the friends of the couple getting divorced will often feel inclined to "choose" one of the spouses over the other. With an amicable divorce, though, there are likely a lot less bad feelings still floating around, making it easier for the couple's friends to stay friends with the both of them.
10 For Your Own Sanity
Ending a marriage on a hostile note, or even on a sour one, can make you feel like you're going crazy. Even though this person may be out of your life, they're still "there", so to speak, gnawing away at you, and the way you left things is probably sitting with you, annoying you. End your divorce on an amicable note, in a way that is mentally satisfying to you both, and your mental health will be thanks enough.
9 You May Be Able to Salvage an Old Friendship
If you entered into a marriage with this person, chances are, they grew to be your closest friend. Just because you end your marriage, it does not mean that you need to end the friendship that grew along with it. If you end your divorce amicably, you have that much better of a chance to keep the friendship part of your relationship alive. And, if you can do that, maybe you can even remain friends after your divorce is over.
8 It Sets a Good Example
Arguing in front of the kids is never a good idea, as most parents know well enough. When you're on the last rungs of your marriage, and close to a divorce, it gets even worse. Throw in nasty divorce proceedings, and you've got a triple threat of awfulness. But, if you can be agreeable and civil, and end your marriage with an amicable divorce, you can show your children how possible it is to be mature even when you would really rather be pulling out your hair.
7 Leaving Things on Good Terms Is Healthy for You
Handling your divorce amicably, as opposed to letting it become an all out brawl for things like custody, property, and possessions, is just healthier for you overall. Your mental and emotional strength are likely at all time lows right now, and drawing out a nasty divorce won't help you get back to "normal" anytime soon.
6 You Don't Want to Go Into Your Next Relationship Jaded
Of course, the first relationship you jump into fresh out of your divorce will likely be a passing fling of sorts, but once you are ready to find someone to build something serious with again, you don't want to have the memory of your awful divorce looming over your head. If you can walk away from your marriage content with the way it ended and the way the divorce was handled by both you and your spouse, you can walk into your next relationship with an open heart and clear mind.
5 It Could Make a Difference in Alimony or Other Support
Since an amicable divorce means coming to a mutual agreement over finances and the sort of support your spouse will be paying out to you, or vice versa, it's important to be able to settle things amicably. The opposite mindset and proceedings could result in lesser amounts than you deem fair or higher amounts than you'd wished to dole out. Basically, if you can handle your divorce amicably, you can also remain happy with the settled legal issues in the end.
4 You Were Once in Love With This Person
Believe it or not, and admit or deny it, but you were once very much in love with this person. Whether that love has been long gone or it has only freshly dissipated, it doesn't really matter. As you try to handle your divorce amicably, remember the person you loved is still in there somewhere. Somehow, there is a way for the two of you to come to civil terms even though your marriage is ending.
3 You May Be Dealing With Your Ex for Years to Come
The thing about divorcing when there are children involved is that you can split up from your spouse for good. Sure, but you'll still be dealing with that ex for a very long time. This means communicating about holidays, arguing over schooling for your shared kids, and even sometimes using said kids to be able to get a leg up on each other. And none of that is especially fun. But since you'll have this ex-husband or ex-wife in your life for a long time after your marriage is over, handle your divorce in a way that won't make the two of you hate each other afterward.
2 Lawyers Might Make Things More Complicated Anyway
A big part of an amicable divorce is handling things through mediators, as opposed to lawyers on each side, greedily fighting with each other. This way, you are both free of the demands (and extra costs) that lawyers bring, and also the extra complications. These situations can be pretty annoying, especially when going through a divorce itself is stressful and complicated enough on its own.
1 You'll Both Get Most of What You Want
Amicable divorces are there to make things easier on both parties, and to ensure that you both come out of your divorce feeling as though you were both treated fairly. And rightfully so. Of course, your marriage isn't going to end on a perfect note, as many don't, but if you can handle your divorce amicably, it can be the difference between happiness that comes after, or something akin to torture.