For many couples, parting is a difficult experience. On the other hand, there are couples like Wendy Paris and her ex-husband David who have been divorced for seven years. In that time, they’ve both moved from New York to Los Angeles, but have never lived more than three blocks from one another. They still host parties together. For years they walked their son, who’s now 11, to secondary school together every morning.
Every relationship is different, of course and the below principles may be useful:
1. Divorce can still involve compassion.
Arrangements for the children could be agreed to lessen the pain of a separation. Divorce is difficult for any child to come to terms with, but new research claims that those aged 7 to 14 are more likely to suffer from emotional or behavioural problems than others.
Researchers at University College London examined 6,245 children born between 2000 and 2002 using data from the longitudinal Millennium Cohort Study, which tracked their mental health at ages three, five, seven, 11 and 14.
It is therefore best to consider this first and foremost before other aspects of the Divorce.
2. Avoid going to court.
Settling a divorce and keeping matters “amicable” – costs a lot less than litigation and it can be more personalised to suit your family. Settling might involve bringing in neutral appraisers to assess the value of property and businesses before coming up with a fair way to divide assets.
If both parties and their lawyers are having trouble coming to an agreement on their own, there is an option to avoid litigation known as mediation. Both involve a neutral third party. A mediator, for instance, can help both spouses and their lawyers come to a decision but can’t render a decision themselves. It is important to note that no one is ever really happy because successful mediation means that everyone compromises.
3. Resist the urge to speak ill of your ex in front of your children
The child will love both parents equally and any negative reference about your ex will only serve to cause detrimental emotional harm to the children.
4. Don’t let others influence your opinion of your ex – or your situation
If you know your ex then discussing matters with other will only make you feel more suspicious or less trusting of your ex.
5. If you stay very close, your ex remains a member of your family
Since Paris is still close with her ex-husband, “he allows me to not feel totally alone”, she says, “and he has a sense of responsibility for me, too”. For example, when they came to the end of their four-year agreement on child support, he decided to keep paying it a little longer.
The problems Paris always had with her husband didn’t magically disappear – she just doesn’t take them as personally. She says, “I have a more objective view of some of the differences that made it difficult to be married”.