After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they’ve filed for divorce, saying “we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple”….“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”
Although they have called time on their relationship, the billionaire couple appear to be parting on good terms, saying they will continue to work together on their charitable foundation.
There is a common misconception that litigation through the Courts is the only option for couples when going through a Divorce. It is possible to Divorce in a more amicable way.
Here are my 5 top tips for an amicable Divorce:
1. Let go of your grievances
The decision to end a relationship can be traumatic, chaotic and difficult to navigate emotionally. This is where access to professional counselling, outside of your divorce proceedings, can really help.
The longer you hold onto your grievances against your ex, the harder you will find it to settle matters, don’t use the court arena to perpetuate your grievances; this is a costly, stressful and protracted way to try to reach a resolution. By letting your grievances go, you can move on – not only towards settling your divorce, but to a much more positive place in your life.
2. Take your time and don’t rush your partner
It is very rare that separating parties are in the same emotional place at the beginning of divorce proceedings. One person may have been thinking about ending the marriage for some time, whereas, this news may come as a complete shock to the other spouse.
So it may be better for you and your ex to separate for a while before you overwhelm yourselves with the nitty gritty details of the divorce. If you don’t give it time and formal steps are pursued with inappropriate haste, a spouse’s feelings may alternate between great sadness and anger, which will usually result in a delay to the divorce process.
3. Explore your options together
A common misconception when it comes to divorce is that litigation through the courts is the only option, In fact, divorce can be settled through many different paths, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration or collaborative divorce.
Mediation can help you settle finances, child arrangements and other matters with your ex-partner through a completely neutral third party. Similarly, collaborative divorce sees both parties come together, but rather than an independent mediator overseeing the process, each party’s solicitor joins to negotiate a solution.
Family arbitration is another option whereby the resolution process happens privately, rather than in court, where an ‘arbitrator’ is appointed to decide the case. Out of court options are often quicker, cheaper, more flexible and amicable than going through court litigation.
4. Pay attention to how you communicate
It’s really essential to learn effective ways of communicating in order to resolve differences. Try not to interrupt each other, treat each other with respect and take a break if things get heated.
5. Avoid social media
Social Media is one of the biggest drivers of family tension and raises the temperature considerably. Often people are hurt and are looking for support, but instead of sharing your feelings over Facebook or Instagram seek professional support or find someone to confide in offline.
Going through a divorce is never going to be an easy process, however, by keeping things amicable, you can enjoy a better relationship with your ex-partner, and reach an agreement you are happy with. It is important that both parties obtain advice from a Solicitor as early as possible so that you can be clear from the outset what your options are to reach a solution. A Solicitor will be able to assist with non-confrontational negotiation, which can save on fees.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact our Divorce team on 0121 355 0011.