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How To Get an Amicable Divorce - 5 Point Checklist

In the realm of matrimonial dissolution, the term “divorce” often conjures images of acrimony, conflict, and lengthy legal battles.

However, in modern times, there exists a paradigm shift towards amicable separations, fostering cooperation and understanding between estranged partners.

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    What Is An Amicable Divorce?

    An amicable divorce refers to a divorce in which both parties agree on the terms of their separation and can resolve their differences without contentious disputes.

    This type of divorce is characterised by cooperation and a mutual desire to conclude the process efficiently and with minimal conflict with little or no support from lawyers.

    For couples in England and Wales seeking to part ways on agreeable terms, the landscape of divorce has evolved notably, particularly with the advent of no-fault divorce laws.

    The Evolution of Amicable Divorce in England & Wales

    Gone are the days when divorce proceedings were synonymous with fault-finding missions, where one party needed to prove the other’s misconduct or wrongdoing to obtain a divorce.

    The legal framework has adapted to recognise the importance of amicable solutions, prioritising the welfare of both parties and any children involved.

    The introduction of no-fault divorce laws heralds a new era of separation, where couples can dissolve their marriage without assigning blame.

    This legal provision acknowledges that breakdowns in relationships often stem from myriad factors, rendering the concept of fault redundant in many cases.

    In essence, no-fault divorce enables couples to end their marriage without the need to attribute fault to either party, giving way to an amicable divorce.

    Unlike traditional grounds for divorce such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour, which necessitate evidence and potentially exacerbate tensions, no-fault divorce streamlines the process, focusing on the irretrievable breakdown as the sole criterion.

    How to Divorce Amicably: A Checklist To Consider

    Before embarking on the journey of divorce, it’s imperative to prepare adequately, ensuring a smoother transition from marriage to separation.

    Consider the following checklist:

    1. Open Communication: Establish channels of communication with your spouse, fostering transparency and mutual understanding.
    2. Legal Consultation: Seek guidance from legal professionals well-versed in amicable divorce proceedings. They can elucidate your rights, responsibilities, and potential outcomes, empowering you to make informed decisions.
    3. Financial Clarity: Obtain a comprehensive overview of your joint finances, including assets, liabilities, and income streams. Transparency in financial matters facilitates equitable distribution during divorce negotiations. Reaching a fair financial settlement rides on both parties being open and honest.
    4. Parenting Plan: If children are involved, prioritise their well-being by devising a parenting plan that delineates custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and financial support.
    5. Emotional Support: Recognise the emotional toll of divorce and seek support from friends, family, or counseling services to navigate this challenging period with resilience.

    How to get an Amicable Divorce without solicitors

    Here are the steps you need to follow to get an amicable divorce in England and Wales:

    1. Legal Representation: While amicable divorce emphasises cooperation, enlisting legal representation is advisable to safeguard your interests and ensure adherence to legal protocols. This doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands, view our low-cost divorce solution for £249.
    2. File for No-Fault Divorce: Initiate divorce proceedings by filing a divorce application based on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown, as per the no-fault divorce law. This entails completing the necessary forms and submitting them to the court.
    3. Negotiation and Mediation: Embrace alternative dispute resolution methods such as negotiation or mediation to amicably resolve issues about finances, property division, and child arrangements. Mediators facilitate constructive dialogue, fostering compromises and sustainable agreements.
    4. Drafting the Consent Order: Upon reaching an amicable agreement, formalise the terms of the settlement in a consent order endorsed by the court. This legally binding document delineates the agreed-upon arrangements, providing clarity and certainty for both parties.
    5. Finalising the Divorce: Once all issues are resolved, obtain a Conditional Order —a provisional decree of divorce—from the court. After a mandatory waiting period, apply for a decree absolute (Final Order), ending in the dissolution of the marriage.

    What are the benefits of an amicable divorce vs contested divorce

    An amicable divorce and a contested divorce offer different experiences and consequences for the parties involved. Here are some benefits of an amicable divorce compared to a contested divorce:

    • Cost Savings: Amicable divorces typically cost significantly less than contested ones because they usually require fewer court appearances and less attorney time. The process involves less litigation, which can be very expensive.
    • Time Efficiency: An amicable divorce can be resolved much more quickly than a contested one. Contested divorces can drag on for months or even years as parties dispute various issues, whereas amicable divorces can be settled once the parties reach an agreement.
    • Reduced Stress and Emotional Strain: Amicable divorces are generally less adversarial and combative, which can reduce the emotional toll on both spouses and any children involved. The process is more collaborative, which can lead to less stress and anxiety.
    • Control Over Outcomes: In an amicable divorce, couples have more opportunity to work together to reach mutually agreeable decisions regarding property division, custody, and support. In a contested divorce, these decisions are often left to the discretion of the court.
    • Privacy: Amicable divorces often involve negotiation or mediation, which can be done in a private setting. Contested divorces, on the other hand, play out in court and the proceedings become a matter of public record.
    • Better Communication: Couples who manage an amicable divorce often communicate better during and after the divorce proceedings. This is particularly beneficial if they need to co-parent children, as it sets a foundation for a cooperative relationship post-divorce.
    • Positive Example for Children: When children are involved, an amicable divorce can set a positive example by showing that conflicts can be resolved through cooperation and respect. This can help minimise the psychological impact of divorce on children.
    • Long-Term Relationship Preservation: If the divorcing couple has social or family connections they wish to maintain, an amicable divorce can help preserve those relationships, which might be strained or damaged by a contentious divorce.
    • Smoother Post-Divorce Transition: As amicable divorces can be less hostile, both parties may find it easier to move on and start new lives. The process can foster a sense of closure and mutual respect.

    Amicable Divorce with Children

    Navigating divorce proceedings becomes inherently more complex when children are involved.

    However, prioritising their well-being and fostering a co-parenting ethos can mitigate the adversities of separation.

    Try a child-centric approach, by doing the following:

    1. Child Custody and Visitation: Engage in constructive discussions regarding child custody arrangements, prioritising the child’s welfare above all else. Consider factors such as parental involvement, stability, and the child’s preferences when devising visitation schedules.
    2. Financial Support: Establish fair and equitable arrangements for child support, ensuring that the financial needs of the child are met post-divorce. Transparency and accountability in financial matters cultivate trust and cooperation between co-parents.
    3. Co-Parenting Communication: Foster open communication and cooperation with your co-parent, maintaining consistency and unity in parenting decisions. Embrace technology platforms or co-parenting apps to facilitate seamless communication and shared scheduling.

    Online divorce services work hand-in-hand with amicable divorce

    In an increasingly digital landscape, online platforms cater to individuals seeking streamlined and cost-effective divorce solutions:

    Utilise online divorce platforms such as Divorce-Online that offer comprehensive guidance and document preparation services, simplifying the divorce process and minimising administrative burdens.

    If you’ve gone to the trouble and stress of reaching an amicable agreement, you don’t want to risk diminishing your relationship by instructing solicitors.

    This is where online divorce services work well. Everything can be completed online, giving way to a quick divorce without stress.

    Virtual Mediation Services are another avenue you can explore. Engage in virtual mediation sessions facilitated by accredited mediators, leveraging technology to navigate divorce negotiations from the comfort of your home.

    Embracing Amicable Solutions in Divorce

    In the contemporary legal landscape of England and Wales, amicable divorce emerges as a beacon of hope for couples seeking to part ways with dignity and mutual respect.

    With the advent of no-fault divorce laws and a paradigm shift towards collaborative separation, divorcing couples can navigate the complexities of dissolution with greater ease and efficacy.

    By prioritising open communication, cooperation, and the best interests of any children involved, individuals can pave the path towards a brighter, post-divorce future characterised by amicable resolutions and newfound autonomy.

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    Looking to get an Amicable Divorce? We can help.

    150,000 couples have trusted Divorce-Online to handle their divorce process since 1999. We are experts in online, amicable divorce. Get in touch with our team to see how our service works and how we can help you.

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    Mark Keenan - CEO of Divorce-OnlineThis post was written by Mark Keenan. Managing Director of Online Legal Services Ltd. Mark has been writing about divorce and related subjects for over 20+ years and is an expert in legal marketing.

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