The Amicable Divorce Creed

couple walking - distant

When a relationship ends, it doesn’t seem to matter how good, bad or ugly it was, the first thoughts of separation and divorce conjure up visions of nasty fights, name calling, finger pointing, yelling matches, and large legal fees – only to have both parties miserable throughout the process and at the final outcome. 

It doesn’t need to be that way!

There are alternatives to battling it out in court with the only winners being the lawyers and the fees they receive.  Bare in mind, the lawyers need to get paid for the work they do during the process, just as individuals need to get paid at the end of the week for the work done at their job. 

Typically in a traditional court battle both parties come out feeling they didn’t win at all, they can no longer talk to the person they once loved (or maybe still love), there is a ton of resentment and concern over the financial burden the separation or divorce has caused, as well as what the fighting has done to the mental health of each person involved and their children (in many cases).

Today many separating and divorcing couples are turning to an alternative method for an amicable divorce called Collaborative Team Practice!

What is Collaborative Team Practice?

The goal of Collaborative Practice Niagara is to maximize the settlement options to both parties, to increase the abilities of families to communicate in a post-separation relationship, and to minimize, if not eliminate, the negative economic, social and emotional consequences to families that are experiencing separation or divorce.

The essence of the collaborative team practice agreement and process is the belief that it is in the best interests of the separating or divorcing parties and their families to avoid adversarial proceedings, to resolve their differences with minimum conflict, and to work together to create shared solutions to the issues.

take off the boxing gloves

Collaborative Team Practice starts with a commitment that neither party will go to Court, nor threaten to go to court, negotiations will be principled, dignified and respectful with open communication and exchange of relevant information and to create an agreement that considers the highest priorities of both individuals and their children.

10 Ways To Avoid the Court Room and Have an Amicable Divorce

  1. Stay out of court.
  2. Get a lawyer, a financial divorce professional, a health and family specialist you like and trust. Those advisors should understand and be trained in the collaborative team practice model.
  3. Understand, it probably won’t be easy.
  4. Know what you would like, what you need, be reasonable in those wants and needs.
  5. Take off the boxing gloves, prepare the handshake instead.
  6. Remember animosity has no place at the table, it will get in the way of negotiations.
  7. Be prepared to bite your tongue.
  8. Forget finger-pointing – the marriage is over, look toward your future and the outcome at hand.
  9. Think everything through with the help of your team of professional advisors.
  10. Above all listen. You may not be as far apart as you think.

A relationship transition is not easy. It is a major change and disruption in the lives of everyone involved. There will be tears shed, moments of anger, now and then a good laugh might creep in when you least expect it, but know this chapter will come to an end as well. 

An important element of Collaborative Team Practice Model is the agreement to stay out of court. Both parties and their respective lawyers, and other professionals enter into a contract committing to resolving things peacefully. This noted in an article by Jean Beaton, Dealing with Separation in a Better Way: The Benefits of Collaborative Law, if you would like to learn more.

The Amicable Divorce Creed.

I promise to:

 be my best self, even when I’m living what seems like a nightmare;

 be considerate and reasonable even though it probably won’t be easy;

listen and be respectful of all involved;

avoid the Court system at all costs;

be reasonable in my wants, needs and have them prioritized;

understand my former-partner’s wants, needs and priorities;

be open and transparent throughout the process;

bite my tongue until I have thought it through;

ask questions of what I do not understand;

trust in my lawyer, financial and family professionals and their understanding of the process;

help work toward a mutually agreeable solution;  

know in the end, I have received a faster and better resolution.

I will be ready to move on to the next chapter in my life.

I will be okay!

amicable divorce creed image

Right click on the image above, save it to your computer, print it and post it on your fridge, or send it to someone you know who needs it.

Note: Not all lawyers, financial professionals  and health and family advisors are certified and trained in collaborative team practice services. To see a list available to you in Niagara, click here.