An amicable divorce is a civil divorce where both parties agree to the terms of property division, child support, child custody, and spousal support without having a judge make those decisions for you.

Divorce is one of the most emotional experiences a person will ever face, especially if there are children involved. As a divorce attorney in Kingwood, Texas, I understand that the decision to end a marriage is not an easy one and is often accompanied by anger, fear, and resentment. The negative emotions associated with divorce are responsible for more than just hurt feelings; they affect the final outcome of settlement negotiations. Most important, if children are involved, they will generally suffer. As a person going through a divorce, you will need to put on a business hat that is critical for reaching a successful settlement, and a parent hat that is critical for helping your children through this difficult process.

Achieving An Amicable Divorce

Bill Ferguson, a nationally recognized divorce and relationship expert, recommends several steps that will help you remain amicable with your spouse during divorce proceedings. Bill describes the cycle of conflict people engage in when ending a marriage. One person says something nasty, the other responds. It takes two people to create and maintain a cycle of conflict. It only takes one person to end it. To end the cycle of conflict, you need to stop fueling it. The following tips from Bill Ferguson will help you end your part in the negative cycle and help you achieve an amicable divorce.

  1. Accept the other person
    If you don’t accept someone as they are, you will end up frustrated and more likely to continue to contribute to the conflict. Face it, your spouse isn’t going to change any more than a leopard will change its spots.
  2. Be willing to feel your hurt
    Feelings of hurt drive more behavior than most people will admit. Often, anger is simply an unwillingness to feel hurt. If you allow yourself to hurt, it will run its course more quickly and allow you to move beyond it. Remember, crying is simply a means of relieving stress.
  3. See your role in the problem
    Take the time to think about yourself, not the other person. Ignore what they did or said and think about what you did and said. Were you more critical than you should have been? Did you hurt their feelings? Notice how the other person has put up his or her walls of protection and given it back to you. See how your actions have fueled the conflict.
  4. Don’t hang on and let the person go
    In many ways not letting go is a form of denial. We hang on to avoid feeling pain, but the pain won’t go away until we actually experience it. Become willing to feel the hurt and watch the need to hang on disappear.
  5. Let go of resentment and forgive
    Forgiveness is for you, not the benefit of the other person. Forgive the person for not being wiser and more aware, and forgive the person because you choose to.
  6. Be willing for anything to happen
    When you fight you become full of fear, become upset, and lose the ability to see clearly which can make the situation worse. When you flow with what happens, you have peace of mind and solutions and opportunity will then present themselves.
  7. Listen and don’t argue
    An argument is an example of two people talking, but no one is listening. Once someone stops to listen, the argument ends. You can fully get the other person’s point of view, and then you can express yours and then work together to find solutions.

There are many more tips and techniques you can use to diffuse the tension between you and your spouse. Even if you decide to pursue a divorce, you can make it more amicable. Remember, when you fight to have your side prevail, you force the other person to fight against you. If you are committed to finding solutions that work for both of you, the resistance against you dissolves. It’s hard to fight someone who is on your side.

Brian McNamara is an expert divorce attorney in the Humble / Kingwood area that will be on your side whether your divorce is amicable or litigated. Mr. McNamara has handled hundreds of divorces, most of which have been resolved by agreement. Call his office at 281-358-3444 to schedule an appointment.

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.