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Divorce on friendly terms: Keeping things civil

When you and your spouse began to discuss divorce, you were past the stage of being angry with one another. You simply grew apart, and over the last several months, you’ve been living your own lives. Yes, you lived in the same home and had a routine that showed you as a combined force for your kids, but neither of you was invested in your relationship romantically.

Now that you’re preparing to divorce, you want to continue to keep things civil. It is your hope that doing so will make your divorce easier on your children, since you both already feel that it will make your lives easier. How can you get through disputes that might arise and keep the situation peaceful for your children?

The first step is to consider collaborative law or alternative dispute resolution options. Since you’re willing to work together to resolve your divorce, these are great options for your case. You can sit down with a mediator, for example, and talk through any difficult parts of your divorce, from splitting up assets to deciding on custody schedules for your kids. Your mediator will be there to help guide you and give you information when it’s needed. Then, you will work toward a solution you can agree on.

During this process, you’ve also decided to stay in your family home while transitioning. You have agreed that it’s easier on the children if mom and dad come home each night and keep a steady routine, even if at least one person will be moving to a new home in the future. At home, it’s smart to have some rules. For example:

  • Don’t bring home new romantic interests
  • Keep a regular routine for the children without unusually long nights
  • Avoid intoxication or drug use around the children
  • If there is a dispute, take it outside or away from the children

Simple rules like these might seem obvious, but they can set the groundwork for a situation where you can work together in the best interests of your children.

Once your divorce is resolved, you and your ex-spouse will need to continue to raise your children together, in most cases. Being able to work together now and learning ways to set boundaries and to work through disputes will only make it easier to raise your children as you move on to life as single parents.