Your marriage isn’t working out, but you simply can’t picture you and your spouse going to war – especially since you need to have a functioning co-parent relationship for years to come.
The tone you set at the beginning of your divorce is incredibly important. Poor choices today could lead to lots of heartaches. Good choices, on the other hand, can help you and your spouse get your divorce started on an amicable note.
What can you do to set a positive tone for your divorce?
First, you need to consider your entire approach. Are you pretty much alone in your unhappiness, or do you strongly suspect that your spouse is also unhappy?
If the feelings are mutual, you can approach the divorce as something that will free you both to live better, healthier lives. If the feelings are one-sided, you need to approach the subject with tact and diplomacy: Don’t list off all your spouse’s shortcomings. Instead, focus on the idea that two perfectly nice people just aren’t always right for each other.
What should you avoid doing if you want to set the right tone?
What you don’t do may even be more important. More than ever, you need to be honest and respectful of the situation. That means, don’t do any of the following:
- Serve your spouse with papers before you’ve even discussed divorce
- Follow up your announcement with an immediate list of demands about support, custody or property
- Empty the joint bank account and leave your spouse scrambling for money
- Run up joint credit cards or spend your mutual savings right before the split
- Try to hide assets or divert funds so you can avoid dividing them
With the right approach, you and your spouse may find yourself better friends after your divorce than you are now – and that’s certainly worth the effort.