If counseling and discussion have proved unsuccessful and you see divorce as the only option, then it is best to try and do so amicably – especially if there are children involved. Even though you may not love each other anymore, you should try to avoid the spitefulness that can often accompany a relationship breakdown.
While there is no such thing as a good divorce, there still can be an amicable one. When children are involved, discussing the process with them early on and explaining what is going on is the best way to handle things. Let them know that you love them, and that you will both do all you can to ensure that they are treated fairly during and after the divorce.
You don’t have to remain friends with your ex-partner, but try to stay “on the same side” when it comes to child-rearing. You should share in the raising of your children, and that process is bound to fail if you are adversarial and contradictory. Spoiling a child so that they will like you more may seem appealing, but in the long run it will only hurt them.
Even if children are not a part of the equation when you are getting a divorce, remaining on good terms can only have benefits for you both. An antagonistic divorce can be very traumatic and feelings of resentment can rise to the surface and overwhelm us. Often it is easy to blame your spouse when you are hurt, but taking responsibility for our own feelings can help you to escape this trap. If you and your spouse can work together it’s not too difficult to find a harmonious end to your marriage.
Shaking hands and parting ways is a much better way to end a marriage than shaking fists and vowing revenge. If there is a disagreement over who gets the car or the house, then try talking with a mediator before you begin the legal tug-of-war.
Divorce is often a sad and ugly process, and it can change the kindest, gentlest soul into a beast. Try to respect your former spouse’s feelings, even though you might not care for him or her anymore. Attempt to imagine him or her as a person you met on the street, and treat them with the same politeness that you would a stranger.