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Many spouses experience marriage crises leading to divorce – some overcome it, while others do not. Despite the end of the matrimony being highly stressful for everyone involved, divorce is still a better alternative than a life full of disagreements, misunderstandings, and resentment. The key is to get out of marriage peacefully so that you and your children avoid excessive stress and suffering. Many spouses can maintain positive post-divorce relationships, enjoying their new lives while keeping their parenting roles intact. To help you achieve that, below are several tips on how to divorce amicably in Florida.
Before we dive deeper into the specifics, it is worth reminding you that, in Florida, you do not have to prove your spouse’s guilt to get a divorce. The divorce laws in Florida enable spouses to seek a divorce if their marriage irretrievably breaks. The only requirement is that one or both spouses must be a Florida resident for at least six months before filing for a divorce.
Here are the seven tips for an amicable divorce in Florida that will help you avoid stress, save time and money, and spare your children from trauma and pain:
When your marriage reaches a stalemate and separation seems unavoidable, how you think and behave toward your spouse will determine the outlook of the amicable divorce. The key is to remain respectful and avoid blaming your partner. Playing the blame game is the most typical scenario in every stressful situation, and divorce is a prime example. Condemning your spouse will only add insult to injury, increasing anxiety, anger, and resentment. Your chances for peaceful divorce will diminish in proportion to your accusatory stance. To avoid ruining the process at the start, look at things rationally and understand that there is never one culprit. In most cases, both spouses contributed to a crisis by neglecting each other and setting priorities other than their marriage – which is why you should avoid playing the blame game and instead accept you both bare the responsibility. Think about the future and see how you can get the most out of the situation to achieve an amicable divorce.
Before you move to the next step, deal with your emotions first. Do not let the resentment, anger, and frustration blur your vision and disrupt your rational thinking. You can end your marriage peacefully only when you resolve your inner struggles first. Often, one spouse declares they accept everyone should go their separate ways without first coming to peace with themselves. That can result in emotional outbursts throughout the process and compromise the very idea of an amicable divorce. Therefore, before you move on with an uncontested divorce, ensure you are at peace with yourself and that there are no resentment and bitterness left in your heart. Treat your spouse during divorce the same way you treated them while your marriage was functional – as a partner with whom you need to negotiate.
Once you have resolved your emotional and psychological issues, confront your spouse and talk to them openly about the divorce. Remain respectful and open to compromise, letting them know you do not intend to play the blame game with them. Admit that both are responsible for the crisis – there is no single culprit. Once you agree that there is no one to blame and that you should see how to resolve the situation amicably, proceed to discuss the details of your separation. At this point, your goal is to outline your future agreement. Do not aim at resolving all issues at once – different perspectives do not mean unbridgeable disagreement. You will probably have to seek help from a neutral third person to facilitate your negotiations. Whatever you do, maintain communication because that will determine the outcome of your amicable divorce.
Children are the most vulnerable participants in the divorce process. They cannot understand the new situation, often wondering what happened and why their parents suddenly want to live separately. In many cases, children wonder if they did something wrong to cause such separation. Some kids think they necessarily have to take sides and choose between parents with whom they will continue living. That causes tremendous trauma and emotional pain and leaves youngsters with deep psychological scars for the rest of their lives – which is why the divorcing couple should pay special attention to their children’s well-being, shielding them from the harmful effects of the divorce procedure. Talk with your spouse and consider asking for professional help. Child specialists play a crucial role in all out-of-court divorce procedures, so include them to help your children overcome stress, fears, self-doubt, and uncertainty surrounding their parent’s divorce.
Although Florida law provides a simplified procedure for an uncontested divorce (less expensive and time-consuming), you should choose out-of-court methods over traditional litigation. Regardless of how simplified, the court process is still adversarial, which can send a wrong message to everyone involved. In other words, despite the spouses agreeing on most things, being part of a court setting can create a hostile environment and cause negative emotions. To avoid that, choose alternative dispute resolution methods. The most effective way of divorcing out of court is mediation, offering countless benefits over the trial and other divorce methods. Negotiation enables spouses to divorce amicably, resolving all key issues such as marital property division, custody, child support, and alimony.
Mediation is a proven out-of-court method for resolving marital disputes. A couple open to compromise can benefit from engaging in mediation, avoiding the typical disadvantages of litigation. A neutral third person facilitating your negotiations will ease the tension, enhancing the settling process. The mediator (a retired judge, attorney, or other professional) helps you to talk your way through any disagreements amicably. A non-adversarial atmosphere of mediation creates a friendly environment in which spouses can open up about vital issues. The mediation atmosphere helps the spouses to negotiate crucial topics without pressure or unrealistic expectations. Mediation is confidential, meaning whatever you reveal during discussions will never become public. Knowing their personal information will remain secret helps the spouses focus on negotiating property division, alimony, child support, and other issues. No other method can compare to litigation when it comes to reconciliation. Mediators work hard to help spouses find common ground and keep positive relationships after the divorce. Typically, former spouses get out of mediation as friends willing to cooperate for the benefit of their children. In Florida, spouses can settle through mediation before filing for a divorce (pre-suit judgment) or after initiating the divorce procedure (consent order). The law provides several mediation agreements, depending on whether you have children or property.
After going through the process without friction, your goal should be to maintain positive future relationships. Only mediation can bring genuine reconciliation between former spouses, enabling them to engage in productive co-parenting (children will benefit the most from your mutual respect and grown-up attitude after the divorce). Despite having children or not, maintaining a functional relationship with your ex-spouse will help you continue life without resentment, engaging in new relationships and enjoying new perspectives.
As a certified Florida family mediator with over three decades of experience, Ann Goade will help you go through divorce harmlessly.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Goade has dealt with all kinds of family disputes – she feels your concerns, uncertainties, and indecisions.
Entrust your divorce to Ann, and she will guide you through the settling process providing you with the best possible mediation experience.
An amicable divorce and a bright post-divorce future are just a step away – reach out today to schedule your free consultation.