How to End a Marriage Peacefully in 5 Steps

How to End a Marriage Peacefully

Ending a marriage is almost always difficult and filled with intense emotions. Even when both spouses agree it’s the right decision, the logistics of separating lives that have been intertwined can feel overwhelming.

However, it is possible to dissolve a marriage in an amicable way through open communication, mediation, and fair compromise. This helps set the stage for both parties to move forward in a healthy way, especially if you have children.

At Vollrath Law, we’ve helped many clients thoughtfully navigate divorce. We help couples reach agreements that serve everyone’s long-term interests by being solution-oriented and refusing to escalate conflicts.

While every situation is unique, there is a better path forward than resorting to bitter disputes that drain your finances and emotional reserves. Here are our best tips:

Step 1: Commit to a Peaceful Resolution

The first step is for both spouses to genuinely commit to ending the marriage in a peaceful, cooperative way. This requires letting go of resentment and anger to truly hear your partner’s perspective.

You don’t have to agree on everything, but try to understand their viewpoint and goals. Share what really matters to you, too. If you have children, make co-parenting a priority by establishing expectations, routines, and guidelines you both agree on.

When you run into disagreements, take a break to reflect on solutions rather than reacting. Loop in a neutral mediator like a therapist or a divorce attorney if needed. The key is that you’re both willing to compromise instead of competing as adversaries.

Step 2: Create a Framework Marital Agreement

Whether or not you have consulted a divorce attorney yet, it can be helpful to start drafting a framework agreement that outlines your shared commitments and priorities for separating.

This isn’t a legally binding document but a mutually agreed-upon compass that reflects your intentions and guides decisions. Revisit this framework when you get stuck or feel yourself getting worked up. It can get you unstuck.

Some elements of your framework agreement could include:

  • Committing to peaceful negotiation and mediation if needed
  • Top priorities for allocating finances, property, pets, vehicles, etc.
  • Proposed schedule for children and holidays
  • How household responsibilities will transfer

By articulating a shared vision for an amicable parting of ways, you have a benchmark to come back to through the challenges of legally untwining two lives.

Step 3: Know Your Rights and Options

During such an emotional turning point, it helps to understand the legal landscape and your rights in the separation process. This knowledge gives you confidence and certainty versus guessing or relying on stereotypes around divorce.

To empower yourself with information, have an initial consultation with a divorce lawyer like our team at Vollrath Law. We can clarify state laws and court procedures, child custody factors, asset division rules, spousal support guidelines, and taxes related to divorce.

There are also alternatives like an uncontested divorce, mediation, or working with a divorce coach that involves cooperating outside of court. We explain how these options work so you can choose the right approach.

Step 4: Negotiate a Fair Divorce Settlement

Armed with the facts about divorce in your state and a sense of win-win solutions, you can start making proposals and negotiating terms. This covers dividing assets, spousal support if applicable, child-related considerations, and more logistics of separating households.

It’s normal to go through multiple rounds of offers before landing on an agreement. As emotions run high, try not to make accusatory statements. Frame requests in terms of your needs and compromises you’re willing to make.

Most importantly, listen closely to understand why certain things are important to your spouse. Finding win-win outcomes hinges on open and respectful dialogue where you both feel heard.

Step 5: Put It All in Writing

At a certain point in cooperative negotiations, it’s time to formalize your mutual understanding in a written agreement. This lays everything out clearly: finances, property, custody arrangements, taxes, etc.

If you work with a mediator, they will likely help draft a mediation agreement. . A collaborative law firm like ours can draw up the agreement along with the additional mandatory pleadings. This written contract, called a Marital Settlement Agreement, becomes enforceable as law once a judge approves the divorce terms.

Though the proceedings remain amicable, you cannot skip this step. The final decree legally dissolves your marriage and gives you both closure and the clarity needed to move forward on good terms as ex-spouses and co-parents.

Divorce Attorneys Skilled in the Art of Peaceful Dissolution

There is no magic formula that guarantees a smooth, fast split. But by leading with the intention to treat your former partner with compassion, seeking to understand their viewpoint, asking questions rather than accusing, and compromising when possible, you set the stage for an amicable parting of ways when married life runs its course.

If you find yourself stuck on certain issues with your spouse or just want legal guidance, our team at Vollrath Law can help. Through constructive problem-solving, we aim to reduce conflict so you can both find peace on the other side. Contact us for a consultation.

Author Bio

Stephanie Vollrath is an Owner and Partner of Vollrath Law, a Florida estate planning law firm she founded in 2013. With more than seven years of experience in investments and financial advising and 13 years practicing law in Florida, she represented clients in a wide range of estate planning cases. Her practice areas include wills, trusts, guardianship, probate, and other estate planning matters.

Stephanie received her Juris Doctor from the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law and is a member of the Florida Bar and the Seminole County Bar Association.

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