A lot of commentators have compared Brexit to a divorce, albeit a very complex one. We at amicable know that when you divorce, especially if you have children, the way you approach it and the level of animosity between the partners has a material impact on the degree of brokenness after the event.
So with a bit of help from twitter, here are our five pieces of advice to keep the divorce as amicable as possible.
Test your readiness: Before any couple splits we suggest they test their readiness to move on to the divorce process before they start, a good start is to answer the questions below. If both partner’s answer yes then they are ready to move forward, if not then maybe some more time is needed to either reconsider or at least come to terms with the decision…
- Are you sure it’s over?
- Have you dealt with your own guilt about ending the relationship?
- Can you imagine day-to-day life without your partner?
- Can you see and accept there will be changes to your finances, lifestyle or traditions?
Therefore despite some pressure from other member states to start the process as soon as possible, it’s clear that Britain needs a bit of time to deal with the emotional fall out…The half of the country not behind this move needs time to catch up.
After all you wouldn’t start divorce proceedings on the same day your teenager storms out of the house saying they are fed up of the arguments and wants Mum and Dad to live separately.
Best of three?
- Prepare: when it comes to the negotiation you will get a better solution if you negotiate from position of knowledge not emotion. The law doesn’t care who’s in the wrong. What’s important to you, and what’s important to the law can be different things. The law needs to know the ‘facts’ for the marriage breakdown and you will have to document these
From Britain’s perspective it is logical to wait before triggering article 50 and hold informal talks to understand what a possible settlement might look like. The question is whether the party being left, the EU in this case, is prepared to accept a delay in the hope of finding a solution that works for everyone.
I say high, you say low
You say why and I say I don't know, oh no
You say goodbye…
Set goals: Once you have decided to move forward, goals allow you to think positively about a situation without taking entrenched positons. Stay focused on what you are trying to achieve, not what has happened in the past.
You can do this by setting individual goals to start with, but when your partner wants some of the same things set powerful joint goals. These lead to more creative thinking about how to achieve something because both people are invested in achieving the goal.
Some Brexit goals already being floated by the UK include
- Agree an interim trade deal to coincide with Britain’s exit from the EU, even if that has to be ratified subsequently by member countries
- The UK still receiving large grants for research and development to support our science industry
- Continued help for currently subsidised areas such as Wales and Cornwall…
Pay attention to how you communicate: Chances are one or both of you will cite problems in communicating as one reason for the unravelling of the relationship. Some earlier arguments lost, some points of view not listened too. Now, more than ever, you need to learn or relearn a successful way of communicating issues and resolving differences. This is especially true if you have children.
Try and recall a time when you have successfully resolved an issue and think about what happened, what was different from when things spiralled.
Maybe avoiding ultimatums would be a good start.
Don’t be too influenced by your friends and family: It’s up to you and your ex to agree the best way forward, family and friends can sometimes be a hindrance and focus on the history and the negatives. They might mean well but have other agendas.
With equities losing $2 trillion on Friday, Brexit is certainly having global impact and everyone will have their own agenda. This is only going to add to the complexity and it’s up to the UK and EU leaders to try and achieve the best outcome for everyone.
Ultimately any decision to divorce is a sad one and everyone in the UK, however they voted, is likely to feel some impact and pain over the next few months. Making the split acrimonious and deepening the divides further is only likely to make the recovery take longer, therefore as with any couple divorcing we would urge an amicable approach.