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3 tips for an amicable divorce

The word "divorce" usually conjures up images of long, drawn-out courtroom battles and dramatic fighting between contentious ex-spouses. While this is the reality for some divorces, it does not have to be for every divorce. 

If you are seeking an amicable divorce, or at least a divorce in which you try to avoid as much drama and fighting as possible, there are a few basic tips you can keep in mind. Working towards a collaborative divorce can help you rebuild with less conflict and stress than you would experience in a traditional litigated divorce.

1. Put children's needs first

If you have children, one way to work towards a more amicable divorce is to put the needs of your children first. This not only takes the focus off you, your ex-spouse and the heated emotional battles that can result, it also sets your children up for the best possible decision-making in a fraught situation. 

2. Seek collaborative solutions

An amicable divorce will not come about on its own; it takes a concerted effort on your part and the part of your ex-spouse. That means that both of you need to be willing to seek out collaborative solutions through a willingness to negotiate. Sitting down at the negotiating table is a commitment to avoid the courtroom in your divorce.

3. Sideline emotional reactions

One of the more challenging aspects of divorce is the emotional rollercoaster that it usually involves. Emotions play a big role in going through a separation, and it can be quite difficult to separate the emotional reactions from the more logical and rational decision-making that a strategic divorce requires. However, by taking your emotions out of your divorce decisions, you are setting yourself up for long-term success.

One way to help you deal with your emotions is to get a strong support network so you can vent your frustrations away from the divorce proceedings. In addition to trusted family and friends, you may wish to seek out a counselor or therapist. You should also practice good self-care by doing things to take care of yourself as you move through the divorce, such as eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, and engaging in stress-relief practices.

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