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amicable divorce

4 boundaries to set if you want an amicable divorce

There is nothing wrong with wanting your divorce or separation to be as peaceful as possible. After all, bitter, contentious splits can be exhausting, time-consuming, and expensive. However, even if you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse start out wanting an amicable divorce, there are steps you need to take to keep on this path.

Boundaries.  Set them.  Adhere to them.  There are four aspects to this:

(1) Don’t argue in front of your kids

Whether you still live with the other parent of your child or only see each other during parenting time (custody access) exchanges, arguing in front of them can be incredibly distressing for your kids. Don’t do it.  Restrain yourselves.

Parental divorce can already have them feeling unstable and confused; a high-conflict divorce can only make things more painful for your children.

Thus, a reasonable boundary can be to ensure the kids are out of earshot whenever you discuss divorce-related matters. And avoid having any such discussions at changeovers.

(2) Keep the drama off social media

Venting or reaching out for support online might seem harmless to you.  Even therapeutic.  It can be incredibly easy to share private or confidential information. The internet is not the place for that.  And the things you say or show on social media could be taken out of context or misunderstood.  We tell our clients to avoid all mention of “the case” on social media. 

Depending on your use of social media, the boundary you might set should be zero negative mentions of the former partner.  Don’t engage with him/her on social media.  Perhaps for at least some amount of time even consider to step away from these sites altogether.

(3) Let the lawyers do the legal lifting

Too often, people see using lawyers during a divorce or separation as a way to make things more contentious. However, when you each have lawyers who understand your wishes for a peaceful and less expensive split, they can help you make informed decisions and ensure your legal documentation is valid and fair.

Further, your family lawyers can coordinate legal elements and facilitate communication to make the process easier and more transparent.

You and your ex would be well advised to not discuss legal matters or agree to anything without your lawyers’ input.  It’s just prudent.

(4) Keep things separate

Divorce takes time, and during that time, boundaries that used to exist can get fuzzy. Thus, you may need to redraw or reinforce lines between you and the other person. Some common ways to do this include:

  • Opening and using separate checking accounts;
  • Living in different homes or spaces;
  • Staying outside when you have to go to the other person’s home; and,
  • Setting rules for parenting time

If you can put these and other boundaries in place during a divorce, you can keep it moving in the right direction.  Good luck!

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