You’ve Had An Amicable Divorce: Now What?

Even if the process of ending your marriage is smooth and collaborative, this is just the beginning of an amicable divorce. When you have kids, the divorce process is ongoing because you will continue raising kids together in individual homes. The collaboration and communication that made your divorce friendly lays the groundwork for rebuilding your family and establishing a positive co-parenting relationship. 

No matter what, kids are always going to be somewhat in the middle of a divorce. When you begin with an amicable divorce, you are already taking steps to make sure the divorce is a positive experience for them. This helps avoid a lot of the negative effects of divorce on kids.

Keeping Divorce Amicable

If you can start your divorce by committing to what’s best for your kids, you’ll be surprised at how amicable you can be with your ex throughout the process. 

  • Start with forgiveness.  The first step to having an amicable divorce is to forgive yourself and your ex. When you accept that you both had a part to play in the marriage ending, it’s easier to work together on a collaborative divorce. 
  • Focus on the kids. Keeping your attention on what’s best for your kids can help you make better decisions during and after the divorce. Instead of allowing resentment and anger to influence your decisions, ask yourself what the best outcome is for the kids. Let this be your guiding light.

“Our happy divorce began when we realized that, contrary to popular wisdom, we could have the thing we wanted most: What is best for Asher.” ~ Nikki DiBartolo and Ben Heldfond  

  • Take time to heal. Working on yourself helps you find happiness after divorce. Healing after divorce takes time and the process is different for everyone. Be patient with yourself. Start with forgiving yourself, then work on accepting that your marriage is over but you have a lot of life ahead of you. 
  • Put yourself first. A marriage is about partnership. Now that you’re no longer partnered with your ex, it’s your chance to put yourself first. This often feels selfish at first. Instead of dreading life after divorce, think about all the new opportunities you have because you’re no longer married. By finding activities and support circles that make you happy, it will be easier to collaborate with your ex. 
  • Set some new priorities. You have total control over your household rules, family traditions, your career and your finances now. This is the perfect opportunity to look closely at what matters most to you and set some new goals after your divorce. You may want to adjust your priorities now that you’re on your own. 

Working Together After the Divorce

Once you’ve worked together on all the details that go into a divorce, you’ve done most of the hard work! When you’re ready, you can come together to continue raising your kids as co-parents. 

  • Make communication a priority. Whether it’s face to face, through texts or by using one of the many co-parenting apps out there with built-in messaging technology, communicating frequently is important. Even just a simple check-in about homework or making a custody swap helps keep the lines of communication open.
  • Find a support system to keep you on track. Sometimes it’s easier to continue building a relationship with your ex as co-parents when you have a support system to keep you in check. Rely on your friends, counselors, and others to let you know if you could be working together better. 
  • Keep going. Ben Heldfond and Nikki DiBartolo will be the first to tell you their divorce wasn’t always a happy one. In the beginning, it took everything they had just to be in the same room together. But slowly, as they each maintained a commitment to doing what was best for their son Asher, they built a new relationship with each other as parents. It takes time to build a collaborative co-parenting relationship, but your kids will reap the benefits. 

Agreeing to put your kids first in your divorce is the first step to having an amicable divorce. Once the legal part of your separation is final, it’s time to start building your new family dynamic as co-parents. By focusing on forgiveness and treating yourself right, you’ll find it easier to get along with your ex, too. All of these things can help you have a friendlier, more amicable relationship with your former partner after your divorce. 

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