Sometimes two perfectly decent people just make perfectly awful marriage partners—in which case, going your separate ways is a great alternative to staying in an unhappy and contentious marriage. When the time comes, you and your spouse can often make the divorce easier than the marriage simply by agreeing to work together toward the common goal and being willing to compromise. Divorce mediation can help you get through the entire process without so much as one drama-filled courtroom moment if you're prepared.
Here's what you need to do to make it successful:
1. Get your paperwork in order and know what you own.
It took just a few pieces of paperwork to get married. To get divorced, however, you pretty much need to dig out every piece of paper you own that might be important. Here's a good starter list that you can use (although you should add to it as necessary):
All of these things can have bearing on your divorce because divorce is, by and large, a financial transaction. Most of your divorce will be about separating non-marital property (things that you own alone and to which your spouse has no genuine claim) from marital property (things that were acquired or enhanced after your marriage). The same has to be done for your debts. Then you and your spouse can negotiate who keeps what of each—and as long as you come up with an agreement that's reasonable, most judges will allow it.
2. Put your emotions in the back for now.
As difficult as it may be, put aside your thoughts about your spouse's failings and try to remember what you originally liked about him or her as a person. Then remember that you are simply in a business deal at this point. The romance is over, so emotions need to take a back seat when you're at the bargaining table.
Like any business deal, you have to be prepared to give something up in order to get something. Come prepared with a list of your "must haves" and your "would like to haves" and try to negotiate trades for as much of each of those as you can. If you really reach a sticking point, a mediator can often help you through by suggesting alternatives.
Ultimately, if you and your spouse can stick to the business side of the divorce, you can probably make it through the process much more happily than you did your marriage. Once you firmly lock the emotional side of things away, a lot becomes clearer. Services like The Divorce Company can often help you reach an agreement that will allow you to get an uncontested divorce relatively quickly, which can help you save a small fortune on legal fees.
When your family faces divorce, the last you want to see is pain in your children's eyes. But unfortunately, divorce can affect your kids in ways you never imagined. I understand your concerns completely. My spouse and I decided to separate a few years ago. After spending years of fighting and disagreeing about the things in our lives, we decided to divorce and move on. My children blamed themselves for the divorce. The turmoil went on for weeks until I contacted a divorce attorney and sought family counseling. Family counseling and the attorney helped my loved ones understand the real reasons for their parents' divorce. The process wasn't easy, but we all managed to get through it. If you need guidance and information about divorce and its effects on children, read my blog. Hopefully, you find the strength to get through the difficult times ahead of you.