It has recently been announced the Bill and Melinda Gates are to divorce and, if their joint statement is anything to go by, they want to try to do that as amicably as possible. However, is this achievable and is there one golden rule to try to achieve this? Below are some tips to try to help you smoothly navigate the challenging road of divorce.
Let go of your grievances
Easier said than done, but as I was recently quoted in the Independent newspaper as saying*, the longer you hold onto your grievances against your ex, the harder you will find it to settle matters.. The Court rarely gets involved in why a marriage broke down, so don’t use the Court arena to perpetuate your grievances, this is a costly, stressful and protracted way to try to reach a resolution. By letting your grievances go, you can move on – not only towards settling your divorce but to a much more positive place in your life.”
You may have a view of what you think you are entitled to, or what you consider ‘just’, but how assets are managed and how the care of children is divided up is governed by existing legislation and case law. Ask your lawyer for an honest opinion as to the likely outcome, and recognise that the advice they give you will be with your best interests in mind, and based on their experience – even if it’s not what you want to hear. Unrealistic expectations are usually a precursor to an unattainable outcome.
Be prepared to compromise
Take a view of what is really important to you; there is need for proportionality and a pragmatic approach. I have had clients on the verge of a settlement only to seek to sabotage it for the sake of a second hand sofa; let that sofa go if it will get matters resolved, and take comfort in the knowledge that you can get a much better one!
Of course there are other hints and tips, but managing yourself and setting the tone for the process should also encourage your ex to be reasonable. Divorce is not a process that anyone savours, regardless of how well you might get on with your ex, but just a few simple strategies should prevent it becoming a toxic experience.
Please contact me or any member of our Family law team if you're looking for advice.