Avoid an Acrimonious Divorce

Avoid an acrimonious divorce through a few simple techniques which in turn will help you minimise legal costs, time and effort in the process.

Divorce is the legal end of a marriage. It is a sad reality that couples who were once in love have fallen apart. A loving relationship may have turned sour and one spouse may be feeling unhappy, stressed or even betrayed by the marriage.

Although most arguments and fights between a couple can be resolved, there may be a point where enough is enough. It is usually in these circumstances that a couple may be looking to divorce. Our family lawyers consider below the impacts an acrimonious divorce can have and how to avoid and acrimonious divorce.   

What is the meaning of acrimonious?

According to the Cambridge dictionary the term acrimonious is used to describe feelings which are full of anger, arguments and bad feeling. An acrimonious divorce is one where there is bitterness.  An acrimonious divorce usually occurs where one spouse has treated the other spouse so badly that reconciliation is not possible at all. Such a divorce is often a non-amicable divorce and can turn out to be nasty.

Can a divorce be amicable?

Not all divorces need to be acrimonious. It is possible to have an amicable divorce. Quite often the way a divorce is conducted lays the framework on how future issues between two separating spouses are dealt with. You have already made the painful decision to be involved in divorce. There are ways in which you can ensure your divorce does not turn into a non-amicable divorce.

Separating couples often may need to come across each other’s paths again whether it concerns financial issues or childcare issues. For this reason alone, many parties want an amicable peaceful divorce. In order to achieve an amicable divorce both spouses need to work together to resolve the difference productively.

Our family lawyers have the following tips which can assist you in making your divorce amicable:

  • Avoid the blame game. Regardless of what reasons caused the divorce, spouses should try and forget the past and avoid blaming each other.
  • Focus on the big picture. During a divorce it is quite easy to get distracted with the little things which don’t matter. Instead the focus should be on what is the most important to you, what you want to achieve, what your needs are and what you are unable to negotiate on.
  • Negotiate the terms of your divorce in good faith. This could go a long way in maintaining the trust of each other. It could also act as a transparency to your divorce proceedings and help in reaching an agreement which is fair.
  • If children are involved, ensure they are placed at the forefront. This could also be useful if you are considering co-parenting. There is nothing worse than putting your needs before the children as a result of which the children may suffer.
  • Attempt to negotiate your divorce in a comfortable environment. Whilst family lawyers and solicitors can provide quality advice, involving them at an earlier stage could also lead to confrontation. Separating spouses should initially try and resolve their differences amongst themselves and involve family lawyers when no further agreement can be reached.

It is hoped that by adopting some or all of the above tips you may be able to avoid an acrimonious divorce.

How do I survive acrimonious divorce?

If you feel your divorce is acrimonious and is turning out bitter, consider using the following tips compiled by our family lawyers.

  • Accept that your ex-partners behaviour will be unacceptable during certain stages of the divorce – This allows you to be prepared for when the behaviour becomes unacceptable. As you are expecting this sort of behaviour you will not be derailed from the bigger picture for long periods of time.
  • Don’t let your ex-partner’s behaviour change you. You should be relaxed and cool at all times during your divorce proceedings. This allows you to control the situation rather than escalate the existing situation.
  • Focus on your children if you have any. Remember you do not want to find your children in a messy situation. Regardless of your ex-partner’s behaviour your children love both of you. For this reason alone, you should continue respecting your children’s feelings and remaining strong for them.
  • Continue communicating with your ex-partner. Regardless of the bitterness and hostility your ex-partner shows, communicating with them to resolve the issues can lead to resolving the divorce effectively and promptly.
  • Ensure you have a strong support network. Surround yourself positive people who can comfort you during this turbulent time. This could allow you to keep your cool and help keep your mind away from the hostility and bitterness from your ex-partner.

How do I know if my husband wants a divorce?

Quite often feelings and attitudes in one partner may change. This could often lead to one spouse feeling that their spouse want a divorce or want to leave them. Signs may arise which could lead to the feelings that divorce may be inevitable. Our Family lawyers have noted the following tips which could suggest that your husband may want a divorce.

  • Your husband maybe constantly busy. Now this could be due to ensuring the bills of the household are paid on time. However, when husbands want a divorce they can often remain busy rather than spending time with you.
  • Your husband is emotionally distant and disconnected. If your spouse was open and softer and now there is a change as he is more reserved and emotionally closed this could be an indication of an issue with the marriage.
  • There is constant fighting. Couples can often quarrel and argue and then make up. However where this is more occurring and constant this could also be a sign of your husband wanting a divorce.
  • Sudden quietness. This could be your husbands answer to marital conflicts. If your husband is not willing to resolve anything then this could mean he does not see himself in a relationship with you anymore.
  • A non-existent sex life. Lack of sex in a marriage is a bad sign. Your husband might say he is tired or might fall asleep when you initiate sex. This could potentially be a reason to suggest your husband is having an affair or doesn’t wish to continue your relationship.
  • Having an affair. This is one of the most common signs that may suggest your husband wants an affair. If your husband is happy in a relationship with you why is there a need to begin an affair?
  • Your husband’s behaviour regarding money has changed. This is another apparent sign which may suggest the end of a marriage. Quite often prior to a divorce spouses can begin shifting money and assets without you knowing and when approached fail to provide a reliable reason. Your husband maybe either supporting another person or may not want you to get your hand on his money and assets.

What is the impact of an acrimonious divorce on children?

A child whose parents are undergoing a divorce can be affected negatively. Although an amicable divorce could provide some assurance to children, an acrimonious divorce could affect children significantly both mentally and emotionally.

According to the Millennium Cohort Study 32% of the children whose parents divorce are subject to some kind of mental health issues. As a result of an acrimonious divorce children may feel a sense of loss. Children may lose their home, their way of life. Children may also begin living with an unfamiliar family and be in fear of being left alone. Following an acrimonious divorce, one parent may restrict the contact the other parent has with the children. This could lead to the child being brainwashed against the absent parent which in effect could lead to parental alienation. According to the Daily Mail, children whose parents divorce can often drop out of school, get pregnant and resort to taking drugs and other substance abuse. The effects on children could appear into their adulthood years. As the Daily Mail states a child who has experienced the divorce of their parents can be left scarred for 40 years.

In conclusion it could be noted that parental conflict is a major source of harm to children. Children who have experienced an acrimonious divorce from parents display greater behavioural problems than children whose parents divorce amicably. The effects include depression, anxiousness, poorer grades in education, struggles with trusting others and even increased health risks.

Can an acrimonious divorce damage a child’s immune system?

Divorce can often affect children negatively. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have linked a factor of acrimonious divorce to damaging a child’s immune system. The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study revealed that children whose parents divorce acrimoniously are three times more susceptible to common infections up to 40 years later. The study also highlighted children of couples who divorced amicably were no more likely to have weak immune systems in adulthood than children whose parents remained married.

The most common infections a child may suffer following a non-amicable divorce are colds and asthma. The study shows that only children who endured acrimonious divorces suffered long term health problems.  It is therefore clear that it is not divorce itself which causes children extreme stress, but the manner in which it plays out. The study concludes that amicable divorces do exist and this is what should be aimed for where children are involved.

What should you not do when getting a divorce?

You can often make mistakes during a divorce which can cost you in the future. Our divorce law specialists have compiled some tips on assisting you during your divorce.

  • Don’t forget to seek legal advice. Separating partners may often avoid getting legal assistance to save on costs. You must remember that you may not understand all legal terminology or what you are signing. An experienced family lawyer is often a useful for situations where the divorcing couple has a large amount of assets, property or other complicated financial matters. Your family lawyer can make sure that your interests are represented in court.
  • Don’t neglect your finances. You need to immediately begin to set aside money for the expenses involved. Make copies of all your financial documents and legal records before your divorce proceedings begin.
  • Don’t use your children during your divorce. Children should not be used to manipulate or punish your spouse. Your children are not a bargaining tool and should be kept away from any animosity and hostility.
  • Don’t do anything you will regret later. It is essential that you keep control of your emotions and feelings. Don’t take your negative emotions feelings out on your children or personal property. Don’t advertise your separation or your fight on social media, there is nothing worse than the world being aware of your personal issues. These things could be used against you during the divorce proceedings.
  • Ensure your focus remains on what you want to achieve. Concentrate on what really matters rather than the little things.

How do you survive financially after divorce?

Life after divorce can change significantly especially following a divorce. You need to be aware that your income will be reduced. Your partner may have been assisting with your household expenses and you will need to take into consideration that there will be no support form your partner. It is essential that a budged is prepared on your needs. All sources of income need to be considered and if you are received spousal and child maintenance you need to factor in that this will not last forever.

Consideration will also need to be given to the family home. Can you afford to keep the house? If you feel this will burden you financially you may consider whether the matrimonial home should be sold. With the proceeds of sale from the house you may be able to obtain an affordable property which could be beneficial to you. Other alternatives may be to rent a home whilst your finances have resolved, and you are financially stable.

Prepare for the worst. Separating spouses may not consider this element due to the stress and trauma they are experiencing. You need to ensure you factor in your children and how you will survive should you lose all your money. Consider whether your parents will support you should you lose your matrimonial home. Early preparation can make whatever happens seem easy and allows you to take control of the situation.

Divorce can be very complicated, so you should consider seeking independent, impartial and tailored advice. This should be sought urgently if you think there might be hidden assets. Obtaining legal advice can also assist you to determine the best settlement options for you.

Tips to avoid an acrimonious divorce

Each family situation is different. We understand there is no set formula to avoid an acrimonious divorce. Our family lawyers have compiled the following tips on how to ensure your divorce is not acrimonious.

  • Ensure the timing of your divorce is right. Unless your circumstances require urgency do not jump to a formal legal process. You may not be in a position to think clearly during a turbulent time, however we have noted that clear thinking and effective communication can often negate an acrimonious divorce.
  • Give yourself time to think. Quite often large amounts of information may not be processed effectively. Allow yourself plenty of time to reflect on the advice you receive and decide on what you want to achieve. If children are involved consider how your actions may affect your children.
  • Be clear about your aims. Surround yourself with a strong network of family and friends who can assist you in thinking clearly and keeping your cool. Obtaining legal advice can also be helpful so you are prepared for the coming months and know what to expect whilst you are coming to terms about your current situation.
  • Avoid discussing your divorce in front of your children. Ensure consideration is given to your child’s physical and emotional needs. A sensibly and amicable divorce can be handled well by children where as an acrimonious divorce can often leave a lasting impact on children. It is essential that you keep your emotional stress and difficulties away from your children to protect them.

Can someone divorce you without you knowing?

Under English law it is possible to be divorced without you knowing, given that the divorce petition does not always require a response from the other spouse. One of the grounds for a divorce is desertion. If one spouse can prove their partner has deserted them and they have made reasonable attempts to contact them then the courts can award a divorce without an acknowledgement. This also applies to a divorce which involves a separation of 5 years if the spouse cannot be contacted or located. Attempts are made in these circumstances to contact the other person and to notify them of the divorce proceedings.

Another ground on which divorce can be granted without knowledge is unreasonable behaviour. This ground does not require the other person to complete and return the acknowledgement of service from the Court. It could be that a contributing factor to their unreasonable behaviour is their refusal to reply to correspondence.

Should you require clarification on whether you may have been divorced without knowing, you can contact our family law advisors who can look to make enquiries with your local court to establish whether a divorce has taken place or is initiated.

If you intend to undergo an acrimonious divorce or require advice on how to avoid such a divorce contact us today on 0330 094 5880 to discuss your options or let us call you back.

With family lawyers in Oxford as well as nationally you can rest assure you are in safe and local hands.

FOLLOW US ONLINE

Find your nearest Kabir Family Law Office and arrange meeting

Kabir Family Law Fulham

Kabir Family Law Fulham
Chester House
1st and 3rd Floors
81 - 83 Fulham High Street
Fulham
London
SW63JA

Kabir Family Law Northampton

20-30a Abington Street
Northampton
NN1 2JA

01604 267900

Kabir Family Law Oxford

1 & 3 Kings Meadow
Oxford
OX2 0DP

01865 411200

Kabir Family Law Newcastle

Clavering House
Clavering Place
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
NE1 3NG

0191 814 1000

Kabir Family Law London

Kabir Family Law London
16 High Holborn
Holborn
London
WC1V6BX

0203 995 6100

Kabir Family Law York

Tower Court
3 Oakdale Road
North Yorkshire
York
YO30 4XL

01904 221400

Kabir Family Law Fulham

Kabir Family Law Fulham
Chester House
1st and 3rd Floors
81 - 83 Fulham High Street
Fulham
London
SW63JA

View Location

Kabir Family Law Northampton

20-30a Abington Street
Northampton
NN1 2JA

View Location

Kabir Family Law Oxford

1 & 3 Kings Meadow
Oxford
OX2 0DP

View Location

Kabir Family Law Newcastle

Clavering House
Clavering Place
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
NE1 3NG

View Location

Kabir Family Law London

Kabir Family Law London
16 High Holborn
Holborn
London
WC1V6BX

View Location

Kabir Family Law York

Tower Court
3 Oakdale Road
North Yorkshire
York
YO30 4XL

View Location