Navigating Divorce: Strategies for Reducing Conflict

12 January 2024

In the UK, divorce rates tend to spike at the start of a new year. Indeed, the 2nd January is colloquially referred to as ‘divorce day’ by lawyers, as people with a fresh perspective buoyed by new year’s resolutions contemplate what they would like their future to look like.

Divorce is a painful process, whichever way you look at it. Even the most amicable of divorces represent a love lost, and the recognition that two lives can no longer continue as one. Amicable or otherwise, divorce can bring out the worst in people – particularly where arduous legal processes are concerned, and particularly where said processes involve children and large amounts of stored value. Conflict is almost guaranteed in what is unavoidably a combative process – what can be done to mitigate it?

Hire a Specialist

First and foremost, it is absolutely crucial that you have the best possible legal help on your side for divorce proceedings. There are numerous painful angles to divorce, and not all of them can be equitably met by the average solicitor. If you have complex arrangements to make regarding your children, you will need to seek out a lawyer specialised in family law and divorce to ensure you can properly advocate for the best-case scenario moving forward.

Take the High Ground

Divorces do not occur in a vacuum. The precipitating events for divorce may be innocuous enough, but they may also be extremely damaging – in short, it is not unusual to want to approach your divorce with the punishment of your ex-spouse in mind. But this can be counterproductive in the least, and emotionally damaging or even dangerous in the maximum.

As such, it is key that you dispossess yourself of any vengeful feelings you may have towards the process, or indeed towards your ex-spouse. No matter how acrimonious the last months of your relationship became, nor how tedious you may have found the early stages of the divorce process, nothing good can come of approaching your side of the divorce hot-headedly. Take a diplomatic approach, take your time, and ensure that the things you ask for in custody agreements or division of property are purely to serve your needs.

A Fresh Start

The most positive way you can approach the divorce process is by treating it as an opportunity for a fresh start. Rather than holding on to the negativity of your past relationship, and fuelling that negativity through punitive legal movements or demands, instead embrace the positivity of starting life again without the barriers of an unhappy marriage, or of the divorce process itself.

This applies quite directly, too, with regard to the manner in which you split your joint possessions. While your ex-spouse may themselves be making vindictive and vengeful moves to frustrate the process, you shouldn’t stoop to their level – and this may mean making peace with compromise regarding who gets what. Would you rather spend months negotiating who receives the crockery and cutlery amongst other things, or start fresh sooner, a few spoons short?

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