The A, B, C of a Successful Separation: Amicable's Behaviour Charter

Man and woman talking whilst drinking coffee
Originally published on 2nd December 2019 at 1:54 PM

I know it’s tough getting divorced. During mine, I often said I just wanted an amicable divorce. But it was a lot harder to behave in an amicable way when I felt I was big provoked at every turn.  After a while I fell into the trap of anticipating or expecting a hostile response and soon, I read hostility into everything. It’s a race to the bottom when you’re both experiencing your separation in those terms, and it doesn’t usually end well.

My key motivation for setting up amicable, was to help others avoid what I have been through. These days I am very lucky to work with separating couples who get this stuff and do what I couldn’t then and achieve an amicable divorce. Of course, they have our help to do this but what’s interesting about these people is that they are no different to you or me. They aren’t saints, they aren’t better or worse than anyone else. They’re not all one personality type either and their financial and family situations all vary.

What sets them apart is their behaviour.

Learning from our customers is a cornerstone of what we do, and so we have devised the Amicable Behaviour Charter to guide and support through your separation. The good thing about behaviour is that it can be learned. It doesn’t have to come naturally… and it isn’t reliant on anyone else. You can learn behaviour and then choose to apply it.

You can use this charter whether you’re starting or ending your separation and whether you are co-parents or keeping in touch for other reasons.

We will behave with

We will avoid

a focus on the future and the interests of our child(ren) dwelling on the past; or focusing on our individual rights or legal claims
integrity and good faith and seek to ensure a future co-parenting relationship is built on trust Bad mouthing the other person or putting at risk our future relationship
a commitment to truth, being open and honest in the information we provide, volunteering relevant information even if it appears to be contrary to our interests to do so being unbalanced or less than honest in the way information is presented
respect and kindness, using first names (rather than “he” or “she”). Making “I” statements (e.g. “it makes me [  ] when you [  ]” criticism and sarcasm or speaking for the other person, or entering into email arguments and cc’ing our divorce coach
patience and a desire to learn the other person’s perspectives and concerns even if this means the process moves slower than one of us may like interruptions (because we will get a chance to contribute and be heard in our turn)
a focus on the underlying things that are important to us taking positions, making threats or issuing ultimatums
a creative and constructive approach to problem solving becoming fixed on one point to the exclusion of the whole, criticizing when someone changes their mind

commitment to move the process forward and be prepared to meet deadlines

failing to express our point of view, failing to speak up if things are not working or having our divorce coach take over resolving the issues.

We hope that by committing to working in an open and transparent way and sticking to the behaviour you’ll maximise the potential for a truly amicable divorce. For more help and guidance on separation or divorce please contact us by calling 0203 004 4695 or by booking a call here

About the author

Kate Daly is a co-founder of amicable and host of The Divorce Podcast. Kate is a divorce expert and helps couples and separated parents navigate divorce and separation amicably. She's passionate about changing the way the world divorces and campaigns for fairer divorce laws and access to justice.

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