A recent survey* looked into the most stressful parts of filing for divorce and confirmed that 20% of divorced UK adults interviewed felt that the time the proceedings took to be really difficult and increased their stress levels. 17% said it was the confrontational nature and a further 16% were most affected by the stress of the reactions to the situation by family members.
One interesting fact that came out of the survey results was that whilst a fifth of divorcees bring up the divorce conversation together, two fifths found it difficult to agree reasons for their divorce.
Divorce is a very personal and unique decision between two people and it’s important that both parties come to the table and talk openly and honestly about their reasons for wanting to divorce, making for a more amicable process and hopefully avoiding the situation turning hostile later down the line.
In most cases, the key reasons for divorce come back to: infidelity, money issues and problems with each other’s families as key reasons for divorce.
Never underestimate how money causes problems! A person’s attitude to money can cause issues in their relationship – for example, a frugal person may hate the way their partner spends money – as if it grows on trees and vice versa.
Another key cause for divorce is the interfering family member. Whilst marriage advocates involving the whole family (after all it is the bringing together of two families), sometimes less is more and getting the balance right when it comes to family members is paramount to managing a healthy partnership.
So what can couples that have chosen to separate do, if they want to keep their divorce as easy and amicable as possible? Here are a couple of tips:
- It’s crucial to keep things calm, especially if you have children. Plan discussions at times when neither of you are rushed. Don’t try to have them on a Friday night after a long week – when you’re tired and stressed you won’t get far.
- Keep focused on the fact you once shared something really good. Divorcing couples who keep this in mind tend to be kinder to each other during the breakup.
- Stop the ‘blame game’ where you blame everything on your partner. Both had key roles to play in the relationship falling apart.
- Bring some solutions to issues to any ‘breakup meetings’. Having ideas for how to move forward (like sharing the children’s care, dividing property, etc.) will keep your discussions constructive.
- Prepare to set your boundaries if your partner uses meetings to simply have a go at you. Tell them that you’ll happily arrange another time when they’re calm – then leave. The more you set boundaries, the less they’ll take advantage when they see you if they have an axe to grind.
- Use a mediation service if you’re not moving forward in your divorce or breakup.
For help and advice on how to progress a separation and divorce in an amicable way, contact Lynda Merrell-Jones at Battrick Clark on 0117 973 1391 now.
*Co-op Legal Services