Separation is never easy, but it doesn’t have to lead to a nerve-wracking war of the roses in every case. Even if separations or. Divorces are painful, but they also offer a chance for a new beginning. But what can you do to ensure that a separation does not end in a bitter dispute?
This is often easier said than done, because hurt feelings and overflowing emotions are usually at the center of a separation. A divorce goes but also without a war of the roses. In this guest article by attorney Niklas Clamann, you will learn how to deal with a separation situation in a constructive and solution-oriented way and which negotiation strategies are useful now.
Create a common basis
Try to create a common ground! Exactly what this looks like depends on your initial situation. Was the separation a joint decision or has one partner decided "alone" that the relationship no longer has a future? Was there a specific trigger or is it, as so often, the many small unresolved issues that caused your partnership to falter? Have you perhaps already tried to work together on the relationship in advance and then realized that the feelings are just not enough anymore?
Depending on the point you are at, you should try to pick up your partner exactly there. If, for example, you have a firm desire to separate without having explained this to your partner, you should definitely take the time now to calmly discuss the situation and explain your own feelings and ideas. Keep in mind that you have been thinking about the issue for a long time, but that your partner may be completely surprised by your final wish to separate. Give him time now to mentally and emotionally deal with the situation and sort out the feelings that arise.
In no case should you want to clarify everything else immediately at the first confrontation with the desire for separation already. This situation is usually too emotionally charged and the partner is completely overwhelmed with the new situation.
Name points of conflict
Once you have found common ground, you should talk together about what the impact of your separation will be. Emotionally but also purely practically. How do you feel about the decision? How much contact with each other is good or not good for you, especially in the first period? How will your living situation change? Do you have joint children or assets?
In doing so, you should name all possible points of conflict, because especially what remains unspoken often leads to the biggest problems during the separation.
Look at your problem points objectively
Once you have worked out these points of conflict together, comes probably the most difficult part of negotiations – working out solutions and compromises. It is important now that you actively work to look at the issues raised objectively, without using your emotions as arguments. Of course, it is important to talk about the feelings and emotional effects of the separation, but an emotionally charged discussion leads in most cases only to hardened fronts and not to solutions.
Here, too, the time factor is an important ally. Do not try to find solutions for all your points of dispute overnight. If you notice that the discussion between you and your partner is no longer taking place on a factual level, interrupt the conversation at this point and continue it at another time. Tell your partner why you want to interrupt the conversation for the time being and at the same time signal that you will be happy to resume the dialogue as soon as the emotions have subsided and a factual discussion is possible.
Do not work against each other, but look for compromises
Try to be open with each other and work out compromises together. It can help if you formulate your interests instead of making concrete demands. If, for example, you want your partner to move out of the apartment you share and you and your children to stay there, then formulate the underlying interest that the children should not be additionally burdened by a change of apartment.
It is particularly important to promote an open and approachable dialogue during discussions and negotiations in separation situations.
For some people, however, a separation is so stressful that they cannot handle it alone. And that is also perfectly fine. Get help if you feel you cannot get through the separation situation alone. Help can come in many forms. Some "just" need a caregiver to help them emotionally process the separation. Others need support from friends or acquaintances during the joint discussions in order to remain on a factual level and not end up in arguments.
Get support from professionals
However, it is also possible and in some cases even necessary to seek professional support. If one of the partners is unable to cope emotionally with the separation, it may be useful to first process the separation with the help of a psychologist or coach before more far-reaching decisions can be made.
If the problems arise more in the practical discussion, then it is a good idea to make use of counseling services together. There are several ways to do this. For example, if you are dealing with joint children and the effects of the separation on them, the Youth Welfare Office offers support services. If it is a matter of legal claims, a consultation with a lawyer is a good idea. In addition, there is also the possibility to take advantage of the so-called mediation before a divorce proceedings. This is an out-of-court conciliation procedure in which you can work out joint compromises according to your ideas with professional support.
Take advantage of the consulting services together if possible. This prevents a feeling of mutual overreaching from creeping in and jeopardizing the hard-won mutually agreed basis.
Divorce without a war of the roses
In your own interest, try to find an amicable solution, because in the context of divorce proceedings, the so-called amicable divorce has many advantages.
An amicable divorce means that the partners agree on how the divorce is to be carried out and also on any subsequent matters, such as the assertion of maintenance claims.
If this is the case, the proceedings can be carried out faster and more favorably. In addition, one saves lengthy and nerve-racking disputes in court.
The cost savings in the case of divorce by mutual consent result from the fact that the costs are based on the procedural value and this increases with each additional subsequent matter. So if you have already reached an out-of-court agreement on relevant issues in advance, you don’t need to assert them in court at all. In addition, in the case of a divorce by mutual consent, it is possible for only one spouse to be represented by a lawyer, despite the fact that lawyers are required to appear before the family court. This lawyer must then file the divorce petition, the other spouse must then only agree. This way you can save half of the legal costs.
In addition, the duration of the proceedings is considerably shortened if both spouses pull together and cooperate in the implementation of the proceedings. The entire divorce proceedings can then be
in a period of approx. six to eight months are carried out. If the statutory equalization of pensions does not have to be carried out, or if the spouses have already reached an agreement in a notarial deed, the procedure can be completed after just a few weeks.
And last but not least, a divorce by mutual consent has the advantage that only those procedures that have been discussed in advance and are legally necessary are implemented, and there is no need to argue for years in court about individual points, so that the proceedings are not unnecessarily burdensome for the spouses.
Niklas Clamann works as a lawyer in Munster and specializes in family law. The main focus of his activity is the implementation of so-called online divorces. Clamann is in contact with newly separated couples on an almost daily basis and always tries to work towards an amicable divorce for the benefit of his clients as part of his legal work.